Monday, April 27, 2009

Africa: Changing In Order To Embrace Greatness

MMERE DANE : Adinkra Symbols representing the changing times

There are moments in life when the exposure to the story of a great man triggers an irresistible quest, an irrepressible realization that one has got to break out of the cocoon of personal comfort in order to reach for a much higher and loftier dream.Such a turning point in life is usually characterized by a season of dissatisfaction akin to deep displeasure with oneself on one hand and a great desire in one’s heart for change on the other.Sometimes we aspire for change but then we are not really ready to make the necessary amendments to bring about the change we dream about.The story of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. of blessed memory has had such a profound effect upon me lately. I am presently reading his biography and two days ago my admiration of him was reinforced by a programme on his short life on Oprah Winfrey’s show which was rebroadcasted on SABC 3.
He was and still remains one of the greatest and most transformational leaders in the history of the world. A man who believed in the right cause, stood for it and never shied away despite the dangers associated with the choices he made. At the end it did cost him his life. But the cause he gave his life to finally brought about the freedom of a people who had been under the yoke of oppression for so long. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. by the service he rendered became the midwife of the change in that generation.
<"Everyone has the power of greatness.
Not fame bot greatness.
Because greatness is determined by service.">
****Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
Yet again today, we are witnesses of the birth pangs of another historic era of change . I sincerely believe that another great change is inevitable in the face of the monumental 'evolution' taking place around us in the field of economics, technology, science, the environment and politics.
It seems to me as if the entire world is being primed for a shift of Gondwanaland-esque proportions in our lifetime. The entire global economic infrastructure is falling like dominoes all over the place. The only choice is to embrace the changing dynamics, since resisting it will lead to inevitable downfall.
It is my treasured opinion that had it not been the all-encompassing transformation taking place in the world today the 44th President of the United States of America would have been somebody other than Barack Hussein Obama. Change, I am certain, has its own way of unearthing the men and women who have been raised and prepared specifically to act as its architects and managers.
Africa as a matter of fact cannot afford to continue to do things the way she has done over the years. Her Nations and peoples must, as a matter of great importance, learn to embrace change in order to give birth to a new collective identity, our identity of greatness. The Renaissance of Africa will only come about through our preparedness to chart a new way for ourselves in the midst of the prevailing uncertainties and the unprecedented turmoil in the global economy.
It is the greatest battle Africa will ever fight and we dare not miss this opportunity being presented by the present global crisis.
As for me, I am off to compile a list of the changes I need to make.

South Africa's Freedom Day

Today, 27 April 2009, is Freedom Day in South Africa.
It is a public holiday of similar stature to Independence Day in Ghana and elsewhere.
Freedom Day is the commemoration of the first democratic elections that took place in 1994. There are celebrations taking place all over the country.
To celebrate the day, we are inviting friends to come over for braai and fellowship.
Cheers and enjoy your day!

Nkandla: Jacob Zuma's Ancestral Home

Last year somewhere in April my wife, myself and two family friends went to Nkandla in northern KwaZulu-Natal for the funeral of a woman who died rather unexpectedly on a visit to her ancestral home. She was a good family friend and we were obliged to travel the five hours for the purpose of saying our final goodbyes to her . The two ladies that went with us also come from Zululand. One hails from the same village as the dead woman and the other from Durban. We were blessed to have them with us as they helped us to understand not only the cultural practices and traditions of the area but also the proceedings at the funeral itself as well as the burial. There is great similarities in the way the Ndaus in the Chipinge area of Zimbabwe and the Zulus, at least the ones in Nkandla, bury their dead.
As a first time visitor to that part of the Zulu Kingdom, I discovered the generality of African spirit and character, the similarities as well as the differences between the Ghanaian culture and the Zulu culture.
KwaZulu-Natal is a really beautiful part of South Africa and I will encourage everybody to visit there once in a lifetime should the opportunity presents itself. We really fell in love with the place and the inhabitants.
It was an occasion rich in memory and poignant experiences. The journey was in itself pleasantly eventful. From the treacherous twists and turns of the road through the Amajuba mountain range which for all intents and purposes was, for me, a rigorous examination in the art of advanced driving to the beautiful scenes of the little towns and villages on the way.
I have just discovered that Nkandla is also the ancestral home of the President-elect of South Africa, Mr Jacob Zuma.
With the tourism potential of the area as it is and the ascension of Msholozi to the presidency of South Africa, I am tempted to say that Nkandla in a few years time will never be the same as I saw it last year.
In a way it will be sad to see the essence of rural living in Nkandla give way to modernity but who can question the desires of the people of Nkandla for their share of the fruits of South Africa's prosperity. Long Live Nkandla! Long Live South Africa!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

South Africa Votes II

The results of the national and provincial elections are rolling in fast and furious.
With a large chunk of of the results already in, the ANC is heading for a two-third majority in the national election. The party is also heading for victory in 8 of the 9 provinces.
The Western Cape is the only province expected to go to the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA). Helen Zille, the leader of the DA is expected to become the Premier of that province.

Provisional Results
ANC ( 65% ) DA ( 16%) COPE ( 8%) IFP (2%)

Mr Jacob Zuma is expected to be elected as the next President of South Africa by the National Assembly early next month after the swearing in of the new members of parliament.
Everybody is now waiting anxiously to see the composition of the next ANC government.
Let us pray and hope that JACOB GEDLEYIHLEKISA ZUMA and his incoming administration will be able to take Mzansi to a much better future.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

South Africa Votes I

This morning, despite the chilling weather, long queues of old and young South Africans waiting with steely determination to exercise their democratic right have already started moving towards the 19700 voting stations spread across all 9 provinces of the Republic.

Already e-tv is reporting of the discovery of ballot boxes stuffed with marked ballot papers in favour of the IFP in Ulundi in the Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) province as well as the shooting of an IEC presiding officer in Qwaqwa in the Free State Province.

By and large, KZN is the most likely place for a flare-up of election violence, if there should be any. About 23 000 security officers have been posted to various parts of the province to forestall violence.

In the main though, the elections are expected to be generally free and fair.

More update to follow soon.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Susan Boyle Phenomenon et al

Will Ms Susan Boyle rake in enough dough to upgrade from council housing?
Did Janis Joplin get her Mercedes Benz from on high before heading there?
Will the world be speaking Putonghua, Yue or Wu 20 years from now?
Will the United States of Africa ever be more than a pipe dream?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Zimfugees, Cowards and Sycophants

Take a pebble in your hand.
Choose any street corner in Jozi and randomly throw the pebble in any direction of your choosing. You are probably going to hit a Zimfugee.
Now come with me to Zimbabwe.
Take a pebble in your hands.
Choose any street corner in Harare and throw your pebble any direction you wish.
You most probably are going hit a coward.
Follow on through with me to Ghana.
Take a stone, a big one, in your hands. Choose any street corner, preferably near Osu Castle and haul the stone with all your strength towards the seat yonder.
You have just killed a sycophant.
You have saved the state from one big opportunist craving to put both hands in the cookie jar.

What is a career?

I have been at my subconscious expeditions lately.
These esoteric sessions to which I am seldom invited are mostly matters of great philosophical importance. I am always awed whenever I randomly chance upon one of these meetings of the northern suburb. Some of the things my mind has been busying itself with in the last couple of days concerns issues of career. I am suddenly asking myself questions bordering on existentialism within the bigger picture of societal construct. Who am I? What am I? What is my role and my place in the social landscape I see around me? What class do they place me in? middle? upper?, lower? What the heck is that supposed to mean? What must be my response to society's expectations? These are questions I must find realistic answers to?
I really don't understand why being me is often not enough for some folks. I don't have to drive what others are driving to earn my place on God's earth. I don't have to prove myself to anybody? It baffles me that it baffles them that I don't place importance on the things they chase after and die after?
My question to you all is this: what are you living for?
What does your career mean to you?
Is it :
  • A path through life?
  • A meaning-making project?
  • A hug of personal definition?
  • An identity sketch?
  • An address of your trajectory?
  • A simplified shade of your complex self?
  • An exploration of self-worth and value?
  • A part of you that gets regular rewards for individual effort?
  • A clutch at gainful exhibitionism?
  • An embrace of purpose and goals?
  • A grasp at unearthing your reality and limits?
  • A stride to discover self-fulfilment and potential?
  • A guidance by your potential to a cherished destination?
  • A necessary quest for attention and perhaps acceptance?
  • A passion in motion?
  • An attempt at finding your social G-spot through the labyrinth of space and time?
  • A means to demonstrate that you also belong?
  • A facet of human expenditure?
  • A social contract meant to monetize your personal contribution to society?
  • A box you must tick to explain your raison d'etre?
  • A framework to satisfy the curiosity of others?

I am curious. Let me know what you think. As for me I know me and I really I like me. That I think is enough qualification for life.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Avoiding The Sackable Offences @ Work

With the hurricane of economic recession blowing all over the place, I feel the need to do a 'sankofa' on recession-proof value systems at the workplace. To avoid becoming a statistics, I am trying to make a list of offences that normally give bosses reasons to terminate contracts and appointments.
My list of offences that will trigger an instant firing at most companies are:
  • Using company computer for viewing 'otherworldly graphics'. The IT department regularly monitors the websites company staff visit. They will sooner or later take a look at what you are watching and raise a hell of alarm. Then you will be toast. So I stick to the trustworthy and decent websites as much as I can.
  • Office Affairs. Hanky pankying around with work colleague(s) especially if either one or all of you are married. Most companies will boot you out pronto before you could say 'bra ha'. I don't play around. I am no angel but I choose to stay true to my wife and to myself.
  • Frauding the System. There are always those who are smelling the rat even where there are none. Any fraud will eventually bring out the stink. I allow integrity to rule in everything I do as far as possible. They say a good name is better than riches. I truly believe that this is fundamental.
  • Professional misconduct. Professional misconduct at the workplace is tantamount to suicide. It will destroy your career. I have made a choice to become an ethical practitioner of my profession. No matter what happens my conscience must stay clean and clear. That is my choice.
  • Failure to fit in the team. The inability to work independently within a team is perhaps the greatest sign of lack of commitment to the company. I have really come to appreciate the fact that the workplace is not just a place to accomplish tasks and deliver targets by deadlines. It is also a social platform to showcase one's humanity. Showing an interest in the well-being of others is as much important as building shareholders' value. I really put premium value on the emotionally intelligent folks who are able to get along with both their principals and their juniours without any hidden motives.

Why am writing all this? I suppose I need to capture for myself some of the value systems that I hold so dear. I hope I will live long enough to share them with my children's children.

Have a blessed weekend, pal!

Silent Mutterings

Let me go for my time is up
Please bear with me until I am through with this act
For this supreme matter has got to be looked at, passion unmingled
And plotted all the way to the end on this subscribed night

Let me help to dislodge this unbending trap
Please just one more time to finish with this tact
For at stake is a feast that must be dearly perused, love unbridled
And nectared away like the spoils of the mighty knight

Let me try to wrap up this teeming sap of the bounty tap
Please relax the rounds will soon end and we will be over this pact
A chiseled woodpecker angled at prime spot, desire unshackled
And baying for the marrow that satisfy the raging tight

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Conversation With An Irritant!

I really don't get it. Why do these blooming people who do surveys and researches have to call me at odd hours with questions that require that I stop whatever I am doing in order to answer them?
Here is a narration of one such conversation which took place recently.
Griiing, griiiiiing, griiiiing....
"Good evening, sir, I sincerely hope I am not calling at an inappropriate hour..."
"I am fine. Who are you by the way and what do you want calling me at such a time?"
"Please, we are doing a social survey and we would like to ask you some questions"
"Very good. But first I have a few questions of my own.
Tell me, what is the meaning of the dream I had last night? Why doesn't my boss realise that I deserve more money than I am being paid ? Why are most mothers-in-law so horrible?
Why can't I also have a Ferrari like the guys in Hyde Park? By the way, why does my tummy have to growl when I don't need to be reminded that I am hungry?"
I also need serious answers to the many questions I have, you know! Squid pro quo, I will answer all your questions if you tell me why the C++ code I wrote last week is giving me crappy answers
"Explain to me the mathematics of why the earth should necessarily be round. When does the dead get to know that they are dead? Explain to me why some people get screwed by the 419 schemers. Explain why some people still enjoy listening to Boney M. Explain why the universe is so huge if we humans are the only intelligent Beings around. When do you think the current global recession is coming to and end"
"Are you still there? Enlighten me on these issues and perhaps I will decide to consider answering your questions." " Whilst you are thinking about my questions, I would like to take 5 minutes of your time to go to the loo."
After the 5 minutes, I return to phone to a dropped call.
"Hello , hello , Helloooo, are you there...."
Hopefully I won't ever receive another inconvenient call from these irritants.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Was Good.

I am still trapped in my pretty holiday mood.
I had a really fantastic Easter celebration. Family & friends met to spend quality time together.
I was at this programme where many people prayed for the current global economic maelstrom to peter out quickly and for the resurrection of Africa's economy and prosperity.
It appears to me that more and more folks are talking and getting together to do something about the need for new waves of investments and diversification across Africa's economies.
I am pretty certain that the second half of the year will bring out better news than what we have been reading and experiencing since the second half of 2008.
Meanwhile I hope to be back on my feet by the end of the week.
I am looking forward to reading updates on bloggersville.
Best wishes to everybody .

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Would You?

Will Jacob Zuma take Mzansi up or down?
Would you I predicted what people will say at the end of his term in power?
Will Barack Obama manage to carve a lasting agenda in town?
Would you mind if I shared with you what I suspect to be brewing in his tower?

Will Atta Mills' decisions ever be considered his own?
Would you care if I told you I dread the deadpan silence from his corner?
Will Prince Charles ever ascend the throne?
Would you bother if you never lived to hear his rhetorical flourishes finer ?

Will Ghana have a few thousand millionaires soon?
Would you care to know that there are a few who got theirs by a loot or two?
Will peace ever dwell under the Middle East's pretty moon?
Would you say a prayer and wait until there are no more lives to lay down too?

Will history ever stop the repeating tune?
Would you and the rest desist from walking down the same crazy path?
Will men ever cease making women moan?
Would you rather they mourned spending the rest of their lives in teary bath?

Monday, April 6, 2009


The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of South Africa has this morning decided to discontinue the prosecution of Mr Jacob Zuma and the other two entities jointly charged with him: Thint (Pty) and Thint Holding (Southern Africa) (Pty) Ltd. This is the culmination of the almost 9-year contentious attempt to have Jacob Zuma, arguably the most popular politician in South Africa today, behind bars.

The announcement was made by the Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Mokotedi Mpshe after a serious perusal of the submission by Mr Jacob Zuma's legal team in which recorded evidence of abuse of the legal process by the former head of the the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO), Advocate Leonard McCarthy was provided.
From excepts of the intercepted telephonic conversation between Adv Leonard McCarthy and
the former head of the NPA, Avocate Bulelani Ngcuka(who is linked to the former president, Mr Thabo Mbeki), there appears to have been a strong case of interference by the executive in the case.
Now the man who is most certainly set to become the next president of South Africa is home and dry. The ANC and Mr Jacob Zuma can now finish off the elections campaign on a moral high ground.
However, as expected, the decision to discontinue the case has raised alarm in the opposition parties with many alleging political deals in smokey room by the ruling party, the ANC.
I suspect the whole case and the alleged political interference in the case will lead to further charges when the new government is constituted after this month's elections.

Whilst I don't expect a judicial enquiry into the mother of the whole saga, the arms deal, I suspect a committee will have to be established to ascertain how the conversation of the officials in question were tapped and who orchestrated the whole agenda to sabotage and block Jacob Zuma's presidential ambitions.
Now it appears that the hunter(s) has become the hunted.
Only God knows how the whole case will play out. The supporters of Mr Zuma will do everything possible to turn the tables on those who tried so hard to crucify and bury their man. After such a resurrection at a time so close to Easter, Mr Zuma probably was prophetic in comparing his case to the prosecution and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray and hope that the Jacob Zuma presidency will manage to fulfill the enormous aspirations of the majority of the population of South Africa and lay to rest this sad episode of South African politics.
Good Luck Msholozi!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

National Cleavage Day?

Today, I heard on talk radio 702, is national cleavage day!
Don't know how this 'celebration' started, but gosh why not national elbow play?
Ugh, what a shame that the titillating sway is not a national holiday.

Don't know about you but I am wondering what the day is all about
What is expected of us, men, to do on this day to keep our women on the beat ?
I am not waiting to be assailed by provocative flashes of unwrapped assets
Hissing from unfenced alien estates all day long like forbidden fruits daring me a threat.

Mess not my day with amplitudes of heaving bosom's revelations
I am not in the mood for an orchestra of wardrobe malfunctions.