Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Getting the Young Diaspora to Ghana | SomethingBeginningWithGH | Future ...

On March 3, 2016 Future of Ghana hosted a forum at City Hall, London to discuss the role of the young (predominantly second generation) diaspora in Ghana/Africa's development agenda.

I shared my view on the issue after living in Ghana for almost 2 years.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Something Beginning With GH

On October 17th 2013, I started my Something Beginning With GH blog. The plan was to go to Ghana for a year.
Technically my year off begun 17th September the day after I handed in my dissertation for my Masters but I hadn’t confirmed anything until mid October when I finally bought my ticket. If you've followed this blog (Journey. Learn. Speak) you'll know this was perhaps the most exciting thing I had done in years. Moving to Ghana as a diaspora and taking that leap. I was largely unplanned and wanted to begin a beautiful adventure. 

I had my purse nicked in London

So everyone keeps asking me what it’s like being back and to be honest most of the time that question is a waste. You rarely go around asking a Londoner what it’s like living in London. We’re Londoners, it’s second nature.
But then things happen that remind me that I am no longer in Accra. The other day, I was in an office helping some people. Customers come and go by the second. I had arrived in the office by 10am and by 10.17am some lady had gone into my bag and taken my purse and left.
I know, people always say you can’t leave your bag for even a second, but it was just a few minutes whilst I got the key to the locker where it was going to be safe. And when I alerted my colleagues to the situation we wasted a long time finding the person who can authorise the security guard to look at the CCTV, then we all crowded into one room and watched the CCTV. Pointed out the lady and then chose to call the police, all the while they were asking if I was sure that I had come in that day with my purse. I mean how else would I have arrived?! When they saw that my allegations were true, someone suggested shutting down the bulding, no one in no one out so that we could potentially find this lady.
In Ghana, it wouldn’t be the case. It would be completely opposite. Most likely, we’d shut down immediately because everyone is guilty until proven innocent. If there were CCTV cameras about we would be calling the security officer whilst on the way to the CCTV Room anyway. He should meet us there where we would have proceeded to do his job (of controlling the playback) until he arrived. Obviously, someone along the line will make a big deal about how it’s only under their authority that something like that could happen, but who would pay this person any mind? Find my purse and then we will talk about protocol! Whilst some of us are in the CCTV room, the burliest of men would be out scouring the streets for suspects and simply round up everyone within 1km radius of the office – remember guilty until proven innocent. The security guard by the front office wouldn’t have the cheek to say “I know who it was, she just walked out but I saw her acting fishy around there” like the London security guard did. She would have accused and arrested the suspect already AND RIGHTLY SO!
And I would have my purse, with all the little keepsakes I kept in my purse. But alas, in London “things work” so I don’t have my purse and I don’t have the keepsakes. And whilst I don’t support necklacing (burning a tyre around the neck of a criminal) and I don’t support mob justice (beating the life out of a criminal) I do feel like I’m gonna get no justice whatsoever, because most likely in this country of “law and order” the criminal lady will probably get off with a smack on the wrist and I will still have nothing for my pains. That’s what it’s like being back, and that’s how sometimes I seriously miss Ghana.
First published on SomethingBeginningWithGH

Slum Politics in Accra

I began the year with an out-of-the-blue request to speak at an event hosted by the Africa Research Institute. I don’t do this sort of thing regularly so needless to say I was uber nervous but either way it’s great being able to speak about Ghana from my own point of view and to use my time living in Ghana – documented on this blog – as the basis of my observations.
I also spoke to Akwantufuo Radio the following week about Ghana’s plan for the future and where the diaspora fit into it. When I sort out the audio I’ll share it on here. I’m open to critique, so please do let me know if I say anything you don’t agree with.

First published on SomethingBeginningWithGH