Monday, 29 September 2008

Ghanaian Youth and Old Skuulism

I have surely realised by now that the life of a blogger is not an easy one. This is because, against my best wishes, i've been unable to update my blog in good time. The only excuse for this desertion is increased workload at work/school. I have since been plagued by bouts of guilty conscience. All the same, i apologise profusely to my few cherished avid readers, and promise to do a better job henceforth. So help me God!

Last Saturday, 27th September, i had the opportunity of partaking in the "Old Skuulz Reunion" organised by Accra-based radio station, Joy Fm. My observations of proceedings at this event has inspired me to come out with this blog entry.

For starters, the programme presents the platform for graduates of Ghana's secondary, now called senior high, school system to meet and reminisce their school experiences. The programme also sets the stage for a wide array of entertainment activities. Because of its hip nature, it predictably draws a lot of youthful audience. This year's event was held at the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre, La-Accra.

I attended this programme for a variety of reasons, but i guess the main ones were the sheer curiosity of observing first-hand the goings-on of this highly-publicised event, the need to meet up with my high school mates, some of whom i've not seen in ages, and to gain some respite after continuous hours of work during the past few weeks. My goals for representing at the old skuulz reunion were largely met.

Typical of a gathering of young people, the ambiance was an interesting mix of colour, style and vibrancy of Ghanaian youth. A cursory glance at the sights and sounds of the Trade Fair Centre on Saturday lays credence to the above assertion. For, revellers at the centre zealously potrayed their alma maters in dress, jama songs and active participation in various competitions that were put together by the organisers. You could see me at the Keta Secondary School Stand singing and dancing to sweet unquenching borborbor songs, alongside folks from other schools in the Volta region. I must at this point appreciate the creative zest of Joy Fm for making all these happen.

Although this may not be the intent of the organisers, this event has degenerated into an expose of deviant and socially-dangerous behaviour, which in the long run will not augur well for the future development of Ghana and Africa. My observations of events at the Trade Fair Centre has led me to this conclusion.

Personally, i have nothing against the comical nature in which some people choose to dress because i think it all adds fun to an event of this nature. However in attempt to appear interesting and trendy, some of my fellow young Ghanaians went wide off the mark. Some of the dress forms on parade spanned from the much-bashed micro skirty "apuskeleke" of some ladies to eye sore of young men shamelessly clad themselves in ladies' wigs and underwears! These daring young people have obviously chosen to avoid the option of relegating these socially-unacceptable behaviours to aour universities where they are now prevalent.

Dress was not the only cause for concern at Old Skuulz Reunion last Saturday. The excessive and vulgar intake of alcohol, cigarettes and i bet... hard drugs was pervasive. I had the displeasure of observing a group of jama singers drench in alcohol that was poured on them by a couple of happy-go-lucky drunk adventurers. That incident is not the best advertisement for one of the foremost entertainment events on the Ghanaian scene.

In addition, there was suprisingly a high number of kids, who were obviously under 18 years at the event. Considering the kind of activities that were unfolding before my very eyes at the programme, i think this development is most unfortunate. Joy Fm should have mapped out a strategy to discourage this youngsters from attending, or sacking them outright if need be.

Another happenning at the Old Skuulz Reunion, worthy of note, was the general disorganised nature of the environment. The streets in the immediate vicinity of the trade fair centre were jammed with people and vehicles. Also noticeable was the completely uncoordianted and directionless movement of human traffic within the event grounds. I believe that the organisers can do a lot to improve this situation by insisting on where people can go and cannot go during during the course of the event.

But it does not only take the initiative of the event organisers to solve these problems. It is equally the duty of the patrons of this event to refrain from vice at this event. It also behoves on parents to prevent their young children from attending gatherings of this nature. That way, there would be no danger of polluting their innocent minds. The police can also come in in their numbers n order to maintain general law and order.

In summary, although the Joy Fm Old Skuulz Reunion is an unmistakable major entertainment fixture on the Ghanaian calender, it is becoming the cooking pot for social entropy. It is the duty of the organisers and other stakeholders to bring the event back on cue.

I would like to end here by encouraging the organisers to take these and other steps in order to consolidate the event's standing in the Ghanaian entertainment list. Peace out!

Friday, 19 September 2008

The First Step


If the ancient Chinese saying that "a journey of a thousand miles begins with the very first step" is anything to go by, i surmise that you're going to be a regular visitor to my blog world since you've taken the first step of visiting this blog spot. So welcome everybody to what i call The Gamelian World.

I intend to use this blog as a platform to introduce myself to the world, share my perspectives on life and any topical issue associated with it and get to know other people's views. So i hope you keep your comments coming. I will also try, in spite of my busy schedule, to update regularly so that we all have an enjoyable experience. Since this is our first step i am going to share with you some knowledge of my country, so that you can appreciate the angle i am coming from.

I'm a citizen of the African nation of Ghana, which is located in the very centre of the earth (the Greenwich meridian and the equator intersect near a town called Tema). Ghana is the first country south of the Sahara to gain political independence. At the dawn of independence the country's founding president, the luminary African statesman Kwame Nkrumah, stated that "the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked to the total liberation of the entire African continent. " Ghana's passion and drive towards establishing itself as a frontrunner in the comity of nations as well as a worthy model of black and African achievement was great in those early years. In Kwame Nkrumah's words he wanted to prove to the whole world that "after all the black man was capable of managing his own affairs." Unfortunately Kwame Nkrumah's lofty dreams could not be achieved because the country, like most third-world countries of the time, bore the brunt of the cold war exchanges between USA and USSR. In short, he was overthrown through Western influences. This sent the development direction of the country on a downward spiral, preventing the country from reaching its goals. The above development was fertilised by mismangement, corruption,... and frequent coups. With the country re-emerging from the lows of the 70s and 80s to a high of stable democratic governanace since 1992, the country is set for reinstating itself as the "beacon of Africa"' as symbolised by the black star that is so prominent on our flag. Over the last 16 years significant gains have been chalked in infrastructural development, education, agriculture and good governance. With the current breed of determined and motivated leaders on all sides of the political divide the future s certainly bright for Ghana.

You must forgive me, if you do like history or politics much, but i assure you that these things set the framework for how we perceive the world. To appease you, let's talk about a more interesting subject, tourism.

Over the last couple of years, Ghana has established itself as a destination of choice for most tourists visiting the west coast of Africa. The country has abundant tourist destinations in all its ten regions, spanning from the historical Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Dubois centre in the heart of Accra, former slave castles principally in the central region, slave routes dotting from north to south and awe-inspiring ecological sites in the volta region. Every region is unique with regards to what it has on offer and every you go you are bound to have a time of your life. So come visit Ghana!, the land of golden sunshine and warm people. Oh it, did i let it out? What makes the visit to Ghana worthwhile, however is not only the finery that the environment has in store. Rather it is the warm hearted, affectionate and always-smiling people that hold foreign visitors spellbound. Many of them "fall in love" with the country such that it is always a difficult task leaving when time is due. Suddenly, the curtailment of the Ghanaian oddyssey stares them in the face and most of them.......cry. The advantage that proceeds from this development is some sort of imaginary umbilical chord that ensures that Ghanaians who travel to any other part of the world have friends everywhere they go. Which is good for everybody. So visit Ghana and see you soon when you come(the tourist board does not pay me for this, i just love my country, lol).

There are certain characteristics that is typical of the Ghanaian people. Almost every Ghanaian is religious, socially conservative, we love football with a passion. The final thing is that we love our country and we are always willing to do what it takes to see her at the very top.

Thanks a bunch for visiting here and hope to see you around. Peace!