I CHOOSE PEACE

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 30, 2012 by Marian Toure
Thousands March for peace in Ghana

Thousands March for peace in Ghana

If you slap me and I turn the other cheek rather than retaliate; I choose peace.
If you speak ill of me and rather than confront you I walk away; I choose peace.
If you curse me and I bless you instead; I choose peace.
If you break me and I pick up the pieces and rebuild; I choose peace.
As the saying goes you can break my skin but not my spirit.
Everything I do; I do by choice.

Peace or war is a matter of choice.
I choose peace for myself and the generations yet unborn.
A week to the crucial December 7th Ghana general elections and I pledge to be an instrument of peace rather than hate or war.

I have just one home.
Though I have been all around the world, Ghana is where I call home.
And if I desire anything this Christmas, it is the gift of peace.

Let’s give peace a chance in Ghana; Let’s choose peace.

May the peace of God that passes all understanding be with Ghana and all who dwell in her now and forever.

FOUNDATIONS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 18, 2012 by Marian Toure

Foundation [faʊnˈdeɪʃən] n

1. that on which something is founded; basis
2. (Miscellaneous Technologies / Building) (often plural) a construction below the ground that distributes the load of a building, wall, etc.
3. the base on which something stands
4. the act of founding or establishing or the state of being founded or established
I love make-up. It is part of my everyday grooming–adds a dash of daze and a pinch of pizzazz to my look for the day. Way back in my teens when i discovered my femininity and make-up, I learnt one valuable lesson in make-up application–your perfectly  made up face was contingent on one vital thing–the Foundation.  Every woman who loves make-up knows the value of a good foundation because it sets the right tone for a flawless finish.  Before i understood the essence of a great foundation I would touch-up my make-up so often it became a chore.  It was what i knew;  but i have since learnt better–a great foundation was the difference between a flawless face and a ‘gbonyo’ face as we say in Ghana. If it meant spending my last penny, peswa or cent on a good, luxuries foundation, I would, because to me its a worthwhile investment.
Wondering what I’m on about? No! I’m not giving you a lesson in make-up artistry.  I just want to wake you up; if you aren’t already awake, to the choices you have made, are in the process of making and will make in the future.
As children; our parents, guardians, carerers etc would have tried all they could to give us a good start in life. Some people got good education, others investments, others advice, some life lessons that would make them women and men of honour, others got it all whiles others had nothing.  One thing which is certain is that whether we believe it or not, we all got something–something which they thought we needed.  Someting that would set us up for the rest of our natural lives.
We are grown now and we hold our destiny in our own hands. No one decides for us anymore. One thing is certain, good or bad, one foundation or perhaps several more have already been laid. When you look at your life this very minute what do you see? Where is your life headed? Do you like what you see? If Yes, can it be improved upon? If No, what can you do to change it? You may need to get out of a bad relationships or an unfulfilling job or an unhealthy lifestyle. Maybe yours is an attitude or a state of mind. It could be the fear of the unknown. Whatever it is resolve to do something about it. There is no time like the persent and its never too late to start over. But when you do, remember to build a better, stronger foundation.
NOTES
‘gbonyo’ face — horrorble face

AT THE OCEAN

Posted in Uncategorized on May 17, 2011 by Marian Toure

At my physical ocean in Long Island, New York

Deep inside my imagination lays a place, a place where I go to find inner peace, seek spiritual guidance, renewal and answers to questions—question about my reason for being here, questions about love and loss, joy and pain, laughter and tears—questions about life. This place is a place where the waves of the ocean drown out the noise of the world in my head and in quiet reflection I seek, rest and listen for that still small voice—the voice that whispers to me, answers to my questions. This place is my ocean.
The word of God in Luke 17:21b, reminds me that: the kingdom of God is within …” me, so it is within that I journey to find these answers. As I journey, I find an intimate place of oneness with my maker and Lord, an intimacy which is possible only between two so entwined. I listen to the whispers of the ocean which soon turn to a gentle voice found deep within my spirit, and I find enlightenment.
This ocean, albeit a physical place, symbolizes to me a spiritual place that I can go to knock and the door of Truth will be open to me; a spiritual place that I can go to seek to find answers to questions, and a spiritual place that I can go to ask  in the prayer that my: “outward and inward man [woman] be at one”.
We all have a place of spiritual renewal within us, “your own ocean, or meadow or woods” whatever you may choose to call it.  If you do not have one, I encourage you to find a place you can go and commune with the God of all creation. A place where you find peace.

A STOLEN CHILDHOOD

Posted in Uncategorized on September 20, 2010 by Marian Toure

For illustration purposes -- A child happily selling oranges

Friday night in Accra — Ghana’s Capital — and I’m on my way home from lectures after a long tedious week. 

Thought I had it bad but someone else had it worse. Am crying (figuratively) because I use public transport and the road network is in so deplorable a state — as if to say there’s been a time when it hasn’t – that I wish I could develop wings to fly. Traffic on the La Paz-McCarthy Hill road is at its peak, yes, even after 10pm. 

Am sitting in my chartered taxi, contemplating my fate and the choices I had made. Is being in Accra a good idea? Maybe not I kept thinking to myself. When will I get home? Sigh – I need a shower and some sleep, come on, move already! 

Sudden through the chaotic traffic a little voice: “Yeas peor, yeas peor wota”. I suddenly became present in the moment; it was as if someone had woken me from sleep. I hurriedly scanned around to locate the person behind that angelic voice. 

It was the voice of a child, couldn’t have been older that 10 years. My heart sunk. To say it went into a pit of sorrow will surely be an understatement. My eyes welled with tears, my head thumping – headache the size of the rock of Gibraltar — I could feel the veins on my forehead throbbing and pulsating under the skin. 

Why? Where is her mother? Has she a mother? Relative? Who would send a child she’d bore for nine months into these crazy streets to hawk and worst of all, at night? No! Oh my God! Huh? I couldn’t believe it. Flashback – what was I doing at 10pm when I was her age? I was screaming inside, I wished I could take her off the street and take her home with me. No responsible parent, no matter how poor would send such a precious little girl into the streets at night. 

What is our world coming to? I was angry. Was I angry because I was a woman with maternal instincts? Certainly not! I was angry because I was human and I have a heart. This little girl is our future. The future of my beloved country rests on the shoulders of children like this one. 

There certainly is nothing wrong with teaching our children how to be entrepreneurial but there is a time and a place. The days of birthing half a dozen children to serve as farm hands are over so also, the days of slavery and child labour. Children, as young as 8, have become wage earners for families, when it shouldn’t be so. 

We need to do something about this as a society and fast. Bring back the days when childhood was about fun, play and innocence. The sooner the better! 

I pledge to do my bit, however small. What are you doing? Always remember that every little helps. Be a voice for the voiceless. 

  

 

“Yeas peor, yeas peor wota” (English) Yes pure, yes pure water — A hawker’s call for attention to their wares.

MATTERS ARISING: Ghana for sale. Anyone?

Posted in Uncategorized on February 14, 2010 by Marian Toure

“Omo, if una no take care we go take over Ghana ooo. Na true talk way I dey talk. Some of my bros get houses and expensive cars– I mean major property — for that your fine contry shah. Ghana dey sweet my people”.


This is my Nigerian friend who has naturalised as a Canadian talking to me over the phone a few weeks back. Hearing him say this and knowing our history and that of our Nigerian brothers and sisters scared the living daylight out of me.

We sold to the Lebanese and Indians, then the Malaysians. Now we are selling to the Chinese and the Nigerians. The Nigerians?!? These are the same people who ill-treated, killed and chased away Ghanaians [in broad daylight] like cattle out of their country when we went to seek refuge in Nigeria during the famous Hunger of the 1980s. Don’t get me wrong, Nigerians are not all bad as Ghanaians are not all good but you will think there is always some truth in rumour right? Majority of Nigerians are corrupt and they have unfortunately managed to pull the few good ones into the gutter with them. Our people – Ghanaian land owners, chiefs, traditional leaders — think selling to a foreigner is making some good money. News flash, it isn’t! Instead, it is shooting yourself in the foot. Making it impossible for the hardworking Ghanaian to own a piece of land to build a descent house to live in, be it for now or when they retire. They are robbing mine and your children and their children – our future generations — of what is rightfully theirs. Our chiefs need to shop thinking about “No ko Feoo” and think about the future.

I happen to be a witness to a common practice among land owners which greatly infuriated me.  A piece of land had been purchased by a Ghanaian for GHc15, 000 [150 Million old Ghana cedis]. The new owner [leasee] paid GHc5, 000 [50 Million] and promised to pay the balance of GHc10, 000 [100 Million] once all the necessary checks had been completed and court documents notarized. A few weeks into the transaction the original land owner [leasor] threatened to return the deposit if he didn’t receive his cheque for GHc10, 000 that very day to complete the transaction. Upon gentle persuasion the gentleman divulged he had been offered GHc10, 000[100 Million] more thus GHc25, 000 for the same piece of land by a Lebanese businessman who had bought 3plots of land from his friend but needed 4 plots instead.

Malaysians practically own TV3, the Chinese will soon own the Jubilee Oil plant if Exxon pulls out due to the current corruption investigation and the controversy surrounding the oil deal escalates. As for the Nigerians, they will soon run our country.  We need selfless government and elected officials who will hold town halls with our Chiefs and traditional leaders to educate them and explain the effects and implications of their actions on the future generations. We need laws that will curb this and stop the practice all together. But who am I fooling? Myself of course! Because our own people, like in the days of the slave trade, will sell us out for “No ko feoo” to line their pockets. This is our country. We either prepare ourselves for a foreign takeover or we take the bull by the horn and protect our interests. Osagyfo Dr Kwame Nkrumah and our forefathers fought the colonialists and gave their lives to secure this land and our freedom; we must protect it at all costs.

The scariest part of this Ghana-Nigeria issue is that we are selling our National pride– Nigerians are purchasing Ghanaian passports – our birth right like you buy fresh tomatoes at the grocery store. What are we doing to ourselves!?! Imagine what would have happened to us — Ghanaians, our reputation, the way the international world sees us — if Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian-born alleged Detroit bomber, having purchased his ticket in Ghana, was actually travelling on an acquired Ghanaian passport?! Stop and think about it for a moment. I wonder if any Ghanaian can go to Nigeria and acquire a passport with the same ease with which foreigner purchase ours. No security system is fraud proof – the Titanic, famously known as the “unsinkable” at the time of construction sunk. The United States of America, with all its security measures has people in the Pentagon and on the ground who sell the green card for money. [The green card eventually qualifies the holder for citizenship after 3-5years]. Where is the freedom and where is the justice for Ghanaians??? Who do we hold accountable for upholding our rights as citizens of this nation? Is there any sense in fighting for independence if we will engage in practices that enslave us all over again? Our current leaders don’t seem to be interested in anything that builds upon a national agenda; instead they are interested in lining their pockets with resources that belong to the people – you and I Something has to be done and very fast!!!! Who better to do it than you and I? In my humble opinion I feel we need to train and better equip immigration officials at our airports and terminals to better protect our country and eliminate any fraudsters who misrepresent themselves as Ghanaians when they aren’t. Our immigration officers should be given the power to cancel, withhold, detain and or confiscate a Ghanaian passport from anyone going through our borders who is suspected of misrepresentation until further investigations prove otherwise — better to be safe than sorry. This suggestion will work perfectly well in theory but in practise??? Bribery and corruption will end the program even before it begins. I hope that we never get to a Mugabe-style leadership in Ghana in the future because we can’t have foreigners owning our country when citizens can’t afford descent living conditions.

Cherish must we this country — our motherland and its rights and privileges [including the passport and resources] — with hope and peace.

“Arise Ghana youth for your country, The nation demands your devotion,  Let us all unite to uphold her, And make her great and strong, We are all involved (3X), In building our motherland!” [A patriotic Ghanaian song that calls all Ghanaians to action] Choboe! Arise and let’s rebuild together!!

NOTES

“No ko feoo” –  GA, a term meaning ‘Something small’, used when referring to money

Osagyfo Dr Kwame Nkrumah – Ghana’s first president and founding father of the CPP and Ghana

Choboe – A call to rise to action

CAPITAL CRISIS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 1, 2010 by Marian Toure

Some 5years ago when I was in Ghana, I took a walk almost every night and didn’t feel afraid for my safety but that has completely changed. Two months ago a friend of mine was robbed with a machete and a loaded gun by a gang whilst driving home after 11pm by some Nigerian and Ghanaian armed robbers. He tried to escape but wasn’t lucky – as he backed up, his rear tire got caught in a pot hole [more like a death trap] which shut the engine off and he was left at their mercy. They managed to flee with an obscene amount of money which he had received earlier that day to clear a car from the Tema Harbour. But for the mercies of God, Ebo [surname withheld] wouldn’t have lived to tell his tale. These armed robbers use guns which according to reliable sources can be traced back to the National police service and armed force. How desperate can one get that he will betray his country and oath of office. Does it ever occur to these people, that the robbers could turn on them and their own families in the future??? Selling AK 47s registered to the Government of Ghana to people who intend to wreak havoc on its citizens? Unthinkable!

NO MERCY FOR THE MERCILESS?
In a very twisted way most Ghanaians feel justified when they kill a thief or armed robber. I live on the other side of town—towards McCarthy Hills in Accra, where a thief was left for dead on the streets for stealing a car battery just a few days before Christmas. I must say the news saddened me because I felt the punishment he received was rather harsh and no one deserved to be beaten to death irrespective of the nature of their crime. But my 70-something year old grandmother put it into perspective for me, “he will kill you to rob you or escape if he has to so it’s his life or yours, you choose”, she said. “God forbid something like that ever happens to us grandma”, I exclaimed. I guess she is right but life is a precious gift and I don’t believe anyone should take it but the maker – armed robber or otherwise.

FUNNY THING
Fulani nomads are destroying farms and raping woman at gun point in broad daylight with AK47s and cutlasses in the Ashanti Akim district of the Ashanti region of Ghana. Who is responsible for tackling crime in Ghana??? How can freaking Nomads ride camels into Ghana and take over a spot and rule it? I have never heard any group of Ghanaians going to Europe or American or even a neighbouring African country to disrespect its citizens like that. Even Nick Thatcher, a British and son of former Prime Minister of Great Britain Margaret Thatcher and his co-ops decide to take over Guinea-Bissau because it had resources they needed? I still haven’t fully wrapped my head around that and how the court case started and ended. I always thought borders and boundaries were there for a reason.
Wake up people! Wake up Ghana!!! Wake up Africa!!!

WELCOME TO THE “BLOGGOSPHERE” – FOR THE BLOGGER IN YOU.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 5, 2010 by Marian Toure

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: