Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Debunking South Africa's crime rate.

With just under a year before the world's most popular sport descends on South Africas shores, figures just released show that the country's crime rate is far from rescinding. South Africa is the world's most crime riddled nation with a woman being raped every 18 seconds, and numerous murders occuring per day. President Zuma earlier this year appointed a tough talking and seemingly no nonsense police chief who promised to wipe crime off the face of South Africa. However, the figures on the ground are speaking a different story.

The South African crime rate is a problem that does not require populist politicking like President Zuma is always doing. It is a manifestation of centuries of segregation, political upheavals and inadequate distribution of wealth. It needs a multi-faceted approach. South Africa must embark on a massive job creation exercise twinned with a massive roll out of adult education. Most of the middle aged South Africans have never seen the insides of a classrooom, especially the ones that did not go into exile during the 80s and early 90s when apartheid was reighning supreme. During my stay in South Africa, I was amazed at how some South Africans view the killing of another being as being the equal to just killing a goat for a meal. I blame ignorance for such a warped view about life. Education helps in cultivating values and subsequently morals in human beings.

The inequal distribution of wealth makes some sections of South African society to believe that it is right to rob from others who have amassed undeserving wealth. South Africa is a developed country in some sections, and poorer than the poorest place on earth in others. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to know that if there is poverty in a sea of plenty then there is trouble.

The political leadership, black and white, ruling and opposition, must come together and address these issues. The police alone will never be able to curb crime, even if you go and train them on the moon...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is Obama facing racism?

News this week is that the first black US President has been facing tough resistance on his proposed health care system reforms. If you recall well, these health care policies were controversial from day one of the campaign.

However, former US President Carter yesterday put the resistence straight on the shoulders of plain cold racism. Most white Americans, it seems, are trying to find a way, anything, to discredit this new black President. We must all admit, being the first black president in a country that has been characterised by race divisions for centuries was never going to be a walk in the park. There are still some remnants of white supremacy, and indeed on the balancing scale some black supremacists. The scale may not even out in the next 5o years.

But we must be careful with these race matters. Most of the time, race is played to overshadow incompetencies, sometimes giving undue advatages to undeserving office bearers. I am an advocate of President Obama because I believe in his intelligence, not his colour. I would like to see President Obama judged not by the colour of his skin, but by the matter in his head.

I have no doubt that President Obama is good for Africa, Europe and the Middle-East. He is a moderate, unlike the texan born, cowboy gun totting Bush who invaded half the world. Issues of his race are a reality, but his colour alone MUST NOT be used to discredit his policies. Policies must be attacked for what they are, and not by whom they are made.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ghana let down in BBA 4...

I was starting to enjoy the exciting twists in the Big Brother Africa Revolution but after seeing the elimination of Ras Wayo and no introduction of a Ghanaian female housemate, I think the concept of the revolution was not fully thought through and rather unfortunate.Some of the twists are pointless to the core: why are there more housemates from certain countries than others when in fact the idea of having a continental show was to bring the various countries together. With the introduction of 12 female housemates into the house on Sunday, there are now 4 Nigerians, 2 Kenyans and other multiple entries for some other countries while Ghana has no rep at the moment. Is this all in the interest of exciting viewership? Or are some countries better represented in the house because M-net/DStv stands to gain more from those countries?One funny thing is that Big Brother has allowed 'voting conspiracy' this season and most likely alliances are going to be formed along nationalities. This would most likely create a lot of antagonism among housemates and yet M-net came out boldly to say that they changed the voting rules this year so people would vote to save their favourite instead of voting out their least favourite to promote 'positivity' instead of negativity.In a surprise announcement, Ghana's representative, Ras Wayo became the second Housemate to leave the BBA House during the show's first Eviction Show. Wayoe entered the stage to a crowd chanting his name to a Reggae tune. He told IK, the host, that he was not surprised to have left the House and does not think his Rastafarian way of life played a part in viewers not voting for him.Well Ghanaians aren't surprised either because his Jamaican patois became an issue immediately when he was introduced into the house. So why was Ras Wayo chosen to represent Ghana in the first place? M-net and the producers of the show chose someone whom in their view would over the best entertainment value for viewers from all participating countries. What made Wayoe the best candidate for Ghana when the whole of Africa thought otherwise only in the first week of the show? Could individual countries choose their own reps instead of having the producers force representatives on them?M-net must understand that even though the Big Brother Africa concept is hugely to provide entertainment for Africa, for some of us, it is an issue of national pride and as I Ghanaian I am disappointed at the so-called revolution!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Its time.

Im so happy, ladies and gents, to thank you for the hospitality that you gave me in Ghana. They say we meet to part, and part to meet. But I do not think we are really parting, because we will always meet on these blogs.

Yes, I will be leaving Ghana at the end of September. I shall miss Spintex Road, the giant Tetteh Quashie, my workplace in Ridge, Labadi on Sundays, Banku and Tilapia etc. But this is also an opportunity, for you guys to also come to my home country, so that I may reciprocate your hospitality.

You were all so great, and everyone in Ghana is hospitable. I am a much better person than when I came.

And, I have a promise to make, "I WILL BE BACK!"

Watch this space.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I have not forgotten...

how to blog
how to research
for the shenanigans in Africa,
Im just sorting out
some personal issues...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dangers of citizen journalism and blogging!

We all love to blog. But there are dangers looming. Many bloggers in the middle-east have been jailed for merely doing what we are doing. Last night I listened to a frightening BBC program where the hot topic of citizen journalism was under discussion. There is a whole section of the world, especially big media houses and journalists who believe we have no right to be disseminating information. They argue that bloggers are loose canons, accountable to no one and have facts which cannot be verified. These are very sound arguments, which we as bloggers must do well to avoid.

But we are the eye on the street level. We are the voice of the voiceless. We are paid by no one, and so we write without bias. We write what we genuinely believe to be true representations of facts.

But be warned, ensure whatever you write can be authenticated. Soon enough you will begin to see defamation cases against bloggers coming up. You must also know that you are liable, much in the same way as any newspaper.

Food for thought.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gadaffi Gathers Gang!

Libyan leader Gadaffi has gathered about twenty African heads of state to celebrate 40 years of his rule. Gadaffi seized power 40 years ago through a military coup. He immediately promoted himself to the rank of Colonel. For a period from 1992 he and his country faced international condemnation and isolation for the bombing of a Pan Am jetliner over Lockerbie in Scotland. Relations with the west have however thawed in the last year or so, and Gadaffi was this year allowed to travel to Europe.

Known as a brother by many African states Gadaffi has never ceased to amaze anyone who has cared to look at him closely. Known for sleeping in lavish tents outside hotels whenever he travels, and being guarded by a team of beautiful female security personnel, Gadaffi has always drawn the ire of many. Colonel Gadaffi is also known for giving lavish presents to to other heads of state who have cared to tow his line.

But Libya remains relatively poor compared to other Arab states with similar resources. There is no freedom of speech, lack of basic infrastructure and other amenities. Yet Gadaffi was rumoured in 2002 to have supplied Zimbabwe with fuel for almost six months.

The question still lingers, do African heads ever learn? It is the same old story of lavish parties and spending sprees whilst the respective countries suffer. What can one give to a country after 40 years? Even a CEO who has headed a company for 40 years will find himself irrelevant. Celebrating 40 years of rulership? What message are we sending? What is the objective? What are we gaining?