Tribalism In Africa: Treat Me Good, I’ll Treat You Better; Treat Me Bad And I’ll Treat You Worse


I write for infoboxx which is an informational portal that attempts to enhance and empower the lives of our audience by delivering topical, educational, entertaining, and useful information.

Below is my first article submission to publication.

Ethnicity, tribalism and xenophobia all stem from an irrational fear of people based on their ethnic and tribal background, or country of origin. The notion of tribe and ethnicity is still a contentious subject in Sub-Saharan Africa. Some tribal nuances continue to reinforce our suspicions about other tribes. On my maternal side, I am an Assin from Nyakumasi Ahenkro in the Central Region of Ghana.

On my paternal side, I am an Akyem from Oda in Ghana’s Eastern Region. I was informed that my maternal great-great grandmother was married to a man from the Northern part of Ghana, and that my paternal great-great grandmother was Ewe. In South Africa, where I spent my childhood and early adulthood, I was very aware of the tribal tensions between Zulu’s and Xhosa’s, and Xhosa’s and Tswana’s. I have heard Tswana and Sotho women chastise Xhosa women in Johannesburg.

Some have gone as far as to tell them to stop speaking Xhosa in Johannesburg or else return to the Eastern Cape, a mainly Xhosas province. The Vendas and Tshonga who lived in the Northern part of South Africa, were seen by all the other tribes in South Africa as the lesser tribe and were often ridiculed for their dark skins and accents when they spoke English. As a foreigner in South Africa, I was called all sorts of names growing up. “Ama Ghana”; “Qwereqwere” (a derogatory name for foreigner) were a few.

I remember being chased down the road by children in my neighbourhood in the Ciskei. “Ama Ghana Hamba kuye khaya” (Ama Ghana Go Home) they would shout. I must have been 5 years old. This was my first xenophobic experience. I am not too sure how I internalized this experience as a child, but it left an indelible mark on my future interactions with black South Africans.

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Bukom Banku: Ghana’s Funniest Boxer


When  you hear the name Bukom Banku in Ghana you cannot help but chuckle to yourself. This larger than life boxer has coined such grandiose idioms and pearls of wisdom that after reading his quotes you are left confused and dazed as he pummels you with his unique English phrases  a lot like what he does in the boxing ring, his words will leave you knocked out. Bukom Banku is outrageous and very funny.

I have compiled some of my favourite quotes from Bukom Banku, who describes himself as a ‘self taught  English speaker.’

In an interview with KSM Ghana’s answer to Jay Leno and the Saturday Night Live genre of comedic entertainment.

He asked Bukom:

“Where did you learn all this English”

Bukom: “Is my own mentality. I have the Bukom Dictionary. Anytime I wake up in the morning I teach my own self.”

Bukom Banku  speaks in Pigin English which is  a language mainly spoken by the youth (All social classes) in Ghana. According to him, he has never been to school but has succeeded in  creating  his own “Bukom Dictionary” which only he truly understands.

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Slice Some Lime


limeWhen I return home from work, I slice 2 limes in half and use its juice to exfoliate my body. Lime is a great deodorizer and helps to fade blemishes on your skin. Forget about bleaching ladies. If you want an even skin tone rub lime on your face and body leave it on for 20 mins and then shower. I have stopped using underarm deodorant, I now rub my underarms with fresh lime it is not only  friendlier on the environment and my body it works even better than deodorant. It leaves your underarms looking and feeling supple and smooth. Lime reverses the signs of aging, removes dead skin cells, it’s a great natural remedy for eczema and acne.
Studies have shown that deodorant increases your risk of breast cancer.  Give it a try. #gonatural

My Facebook Page is not a Dating Website


Last week I made the following post.

Please read the post before continuing.

*Click on Post* // Post by Kate Nkansa-Dwamena

This week I will honour  the promise I made on my post. I have blanked your name, but next time I will name and shame.  He can’t even spell. This is what ladies on Facebook go through on a daily basis. Unsolicited advances from  men we do not know. Ya br3

this is not a date site

Graduate Unemployment: Let’s focus on the Solutions



On Tuesday I visited the studios of X fm  to discuss  the graduate unemployment challenges Ghana faces. Just last week the Unemployment Graduates Association of Ghana (UGAG) carried out a protest at the Ministry of Education, holding our Government responsible for their lack of employment and demanding that Government remedy their unemployment situation. Radio X fm, during their breakfast show explored the issue.

According to Boateng and Ofori (2002), in 1995 only 13.4% of jobs requiring university education also demanded computer skills; 0.4% also demanded communication skills; 1.5% also demanded personal attributes. The demand increased in 2000 to 45.7% for computer skills; 38.6% and 41.8% for communication skills and personal attributes.

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A New Year


It’s the first month of the new year, and everything feels fresh. You may have set new goals, started a new relationship or friendship, or a new job perhaps…

Some of us have the daunting task of reinventing our lives, setting new goals and tackling the year head on. Perhaps in 2013 you ended a friendship, relationship, quit your job, or experienced a personal loss.

C.S Lewis said that Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.

So this month has been declared as the month to let go so we can all move forward. Letting go offers relief , release and hope. A  renewal and a second chance.

I do hope that we set some definitive goals for ourselves, simple attainable goals.

A challenge for us all is to become the beacon of hope, to get involved in our communities, and to build a society that is just, fair and uplifting.

We will triumph once more! Happy 2014.

Start Now


Start Small and Dream Big, Start Now!

“I built a conglomerate and emerged the richest black man in the world in 2008 but it didn’t happen overnight. It took me thirty years to get to where I am today. Youths of today aspire to be like me but they want to achieve it overnight. It’s not going to work. To build a successful business, you must start small and dream big. In the journey of entrepreneurship, tenacity of purpose is supreme.” – Aliko Dangote

 As the Managing Director of Zhest Consult I spend my time training entrepreneurs in Ghana by helping them to shape and fine tune their business ideas and to grow their businesses. Through my interactions with these young business people I often get the impression that many of them would like to grow their business at a pace much faster than they are currently moving. Many young entrepreneurs are also impatient and give up too soon because they set unrealistic goals one such example is making millions of dollars within a short space of time. Add to that the fear of failure and our natural risk aversion which is a characteristic of a Ghanaian’s social and cultural attitude, creating a breeding ground for uninspiring entrepreneurs and businesses.

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Child of the two South Africas


My good friend Mugabe Ratshikuni, or Mugs as I like to call him has written his first short story titled ‘Child of two South Africas’.

Mugabe is also the founder of Feint and Margin a website of pan-African commentary by young African writers of which I am the editor.

I’m extremely proud of his achievement, because writing an article is not easy how much more, writing a short story?

His book is set in the new South Africa, it is a 50 minute read which promises to keep you engaged as he explores sensitive issues like HIV/Aids, Xenophobia, the ‘coconut’ syndrome and much more. I am certain that many of us who grew up in South Africa post 1994, can relate to Trevor Vilikazi’s story.

Here’s a brief Extract from the book.

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How to spot a Gold Digger: A message to Men


My male friends often send me Whatsapp or BBM messages of distress…  about girlfriend or ‘side kick’ issues. The latest SOS was from a friend who has recently started dating a new girl. His new girl in the two months he has known her, has made some over the top demands on him, enough to break the bank. Requests like paying for her weaves ($500) to buying her expensive designer dresses ($500) , shoes ($400).

Last night he asked for my advice on his dilemma. Should he bow down to all her whims and desires or should he dump her because she is showing signs of a class A gold digger?

It’s important to make a clear distinction on who a gold digger really is. All too often men are too quick to label girls as gold diggers when they start to make demands which weighs heavily on their wallets. A Gold digger is a woman or man who is in love with your money and is dating you purely because you can provide for all her material needs.

Do not be surprised if your new girlfriend expects you to pay for items you think her father, brother  or a husband should pay for. If you are happy to sleep with her and enjoy the benefits that a husband enjoys on demand, then get ready to take on the responsibilities which may come with it. Why are you complaining?

Forget the independent woman theory, that she is working and earning a good living. Call me old fashion, but if you haven’t ‘wifed’ the girl you’re sleeping with and she’s making economic demands on you, then stop complaining and pay up. Why  label her a ‘Gold digger’?

Why will you sleep  with a woman and then call  her as a ‘Gold digger’ when she wants some new clothes and shoes and asks that you pay for them?  Are you not enjoying all the privileges that married men  who’ve paid a pretty penny in dowry fees enjoy? You’re lucky the demands on you are in installments and not a lump sum. For anyone versed in banking you’d know that it would be cheaper to pay the lump sum because interest on the installments is high and risky.

So the next time you think of labeling a decent woman who you’re sleeping with a Gold digger ask yourself what sort of demands are you making on her? Are you sleeping with her, is she cooking, cleaning and taking care of some of your needs like a wife? If so then quietly provide for the needs she requests. As long as she meets your needs, be gracious enough to meet hers.

It is not gold digging, you are in a relationship!

YED Africa: Radio Interview


I am part of an exciting movement where young people in Ghana  are using their skills and knowledge to help drive our country’s development agenda and ensure that it is youth centered.

Just recently  the Youth Economic Dialogue (YED) organization, was  invited to speak at Radio XYZ in osu about YED’s tax proposal for SME’s to Government. I and Nana Yaw Adutwum represented YED.

YED is a dynamic organisation who’s main aim is to advocate for youth focused policies through economic development and to also provide support for young entrepreneurs through our business clinics, consultancy and incubation programs.

If you own a business in Ghana which falls within the SME space, you’re young, or are interested in becoming an entrepreneur  listen to the following radio interviews via the sound cloud link provided below.

Sound Cloud: SME discussion on Radio XYZ:

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South Africa’s Education Crisis



On my last day at Queenstown Girls High School we sang the School  Hymn with the following lyrics:

Youth walked in at the big school door and life was there to greet her,

with eager eyes she scanned the child and spread our gifts to greet her,

laughter and friendship work and play,

Choices and chances all the way and the scarlet aloe, standing in the sun…

The last verse of the song ends…

Youth walked out of the big school door and tears began to blind her

but life beckoned on with a smiling face as she called to her friends behind her

yes I remember never fear who could forget a school so dear and the scarlet aloe standing in the sun.


Eleven years ago I walked out of the big school doors. Part of my life and values  were shaped by the experiences and exposure I had in a little town called Queenstown nestled in one of the poorest province in South Africa and even more so from the school I attended from grade one to twelve. Despite how poor our province is, Queenstown Girls’ High School is ranked in the top 100 schools in South Africa. South Africa has 26, 000 schools.  I am proud of the school I attended, the values and the traditions it instilled in me.  Without  the solid educational and social foundation of good values and moral teachings I received I’m not sure what I’d be doing with my life.

South Africa, like many other African countries is facing an education crisis, it’s clear we can no longer leave our education system solely in the hands of Government. 80%  of the 26, 000 schools in South Africa are  under performing . Our private sector, individuals and institutions all need to contribute in helping to shape the next generation of leaders and citizens. If you’re an old girl or boy of these schools and have the influence or means to help I urge you to do so. If you can’t provide monetary help, please help by sharing this documentary.

Our world is large and filled with people with the resources to ensure that schools like  Queenstown Girls’ High School and Queens College remain centres of excellence.  If you know anyone who can help or would be interested in assisting please share the video link and pass on this documentary.

If the video doesn’t play on my page kindly following this link


EDuQ8 – South Africa’s Education Crisis from EDuQ8 on Vimeo.




I’m about to pop some corn. My business partner and I share a passion and love for popcorn. We often spend hours talking about this oddly shaped snack.

Did you know that popcorn is really great food to eat when you’re recovering from a stomach bug and you cannot stomach any food due to vomiting or a runny stomach? When you experience stomach flu doctors recommend  the BRAT diet of Bananas, Rice, Apple sauce and toast to help ease the symptoms as these foods are easy to digest.

Try some popcorn, use coconut oil to pop the kernels. Popcorn is a whole food Air-popped popcorn is naturally high in dietary fiber, low in calories and fat, and free of sugar and sodium.It’s an ideal snack for people with dietary restrictions like diabetes, high blood pressure etc. Use herbs like basil, thyme and cumin to add flavour to your kernels instead of the conventional salt or sugar.  It ready does ease the pain and cramping when you’re recovering from an upset stomach. Don’t forget to drink lots of water to help cleanse your system too.

Coconut water is the a miracle drink. It has ions which help to replenish lost fluid  during stomach flu. Coconut water also has antibacterial properties making it ideal to cure stomach problems.  Drink lots of it too when you have an upset stomach.

In Ghana popcorn kernels are available at the foreign supermarkets. Prices range from 3 cedis to 5 cedis for a 500 gram packet. Natural coconut water is available all year round.  One coconut costs 1 cedi in Accra but it’s a lot cheaper in the villages and other regions.


a few slices of lemon a day keeps you in tip top shape.

a few slices of lemon a day keeps you in tip-top shape.

I love lemons! When I visit a restaurant the first thing I’ll ask for when the drinks menu passes round is a glass of water with some lemon slices and a straw (sipping or drinking lemons with a straw is highly recommended due to the high acidic nature of the lemon when consumed without a straw as the lemon may recede your gum line).  I’m not being a cheap skate lemon water improves digestion.  Drinking a glass of lemon water half an hour before a meal does wonders for you. You’ll never suffer from indigestion.


In Ghana the Hammatan season has just begun, Hammatan is characterized by cooler weather and constant rain. It’s basically Ghana’s version of winter (the coolest the temperature will go down to is about 20 degrees centigrade). It’s also the silly season for colds, flu and the dreaded sore throat. A few weeks ago I woke up with a sore throat. I sliced a lemon into quarters and sucked the juice from the fruit two hours later I repeated the process every two-three hours.  I also gargle with hot water and salt solution. The following morning my sore throat had disappeared and I was feeling better.

A staple in almost every Ghanaian dish is the tomato. If we were to conduct a ‘what’s in your fridge’ survey across households in Ghana, tomatoes would by far be declared the food of choice found in all Ghanaian Fridges. With our present dumsor problems (power outages) most of our fresh produce decomposes in our fridges. Slicing lemons in half and placing them in strategic areas in your fridge will make sure that your fresh produce stays fresher for longer. Lemons slows down the molding process. by just placing 4 half lemons in your tomato chest your tomatoes will last longer. Try it! It really work,s not just for tomatoes but also keeps all produce fresh.

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Signs of Ghana- Part 1


I came across a series of pictures which in essence provides readers who have never been to Ghana with an idea of who the average ‘Ghanaman’ is. Despite or social problems  Ghanaians have this subtle unassuming humour? You know the type that causes you to laugh uncontrollably whilst at the same time shaking your head? Whether its humour from our chop bar or fufu sellers, carpenters, spiritualist, or an employee stating  his case, you can’t help but chuckle.

Most Ghanaians have had basic primary education (JHS )but we should ask ourselves just how well are we teaching our future generation if our present day adults produce signs like this?

Many of our business owners in the informal sector have had very little training, and education. It astounds me how some have become very successful in their business can you imagine how much more they could do if they had the right training and skills? In Ghana we say everybody is an MD, Ghanaians are all Managing Directors of their lives. We make do with what we have and make the best of it. We laugh at ourselves and move on with life. I love that!

Below are a series of pictures I’ve compiled courtesy of a Facebook friend, Ian who has over the years collected these pictures.  Enjoy!

Most areas in Ghana do not have enough toilets. It is very common for Ghanaians to use open spaces to ‘relieve’ themselves. When you drive around Accra, you’ll see many signs similar to the one above, but usually the spot fine is money. For this one you’ll get a slap

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Controversial – Obroni tears down Ghana and builds it up again


I was compelled to republish Ian Kwaku Utley article which I posted on my blog a few days ago because of the sensation it’s created across the world wide web amongst Ghanaians in the diaspora and at home.


1. The rules of engagement (trade, foreign policy) between Africa and the West Need to Change. The African Union and our respective Governments should lead the way. Ghana should be at the forefront of this change. We need to set the rules for the West if they want to trade with us. WE MUST UNITE AS A COUNTRY, REGION AND CONTINENT. WITHOUT UNITY WE CANNOT PROGRESS

2. You teach people how to treat you. White people mistreated (slavery, colonialism and westernisation) Africans because we allowed it to happen. When you go into someone’s home and the head of the household has established rules, you will comply. We have never set any rules for white people to comply to in our countries. Yet when we go to western country they have set rules and regulations for us. It’s time we do the same.

3. Zimbabwe in my mind is the only African country that has successfully told the West to ‘take a hike’ . Watch Zimbabwe in the next few years, they will be leading Africa’s industrial and economic transformation. Robert Mugabe made the right choice by telling Tony Blair to Keep his Britain whilst he kept his Zimbabwe. I never understood the significance of his statement until I read this article. It’s probably why African leaders still hold reverence and respect for him. It’s because Mugabe had the balls to tell the white man to abide by his country’s rules.

4. Africans are more powerful than we know. Our transformation will truly begin if we are bold and demand what rightfully belongs to us (our resources, and the right to set the rules to trade. The we need to regain our power to manage our resources, economy and countries. BUY MADE IN GHANA AND AFRICA GOODS AND SERVICES.

5. It’s important that we begin to write our own stories. Lets not leave it to others to tell us what and who we are about. Learn about our history and about why we should take pride in being called Africans. Teach your children about our rich and diverse past,both the good and the bad. Knowledge of our history will serve as the the springboard for our continent’s development.
Perhaps you could draw your own lessons…

An expat friend of mine forwarded the link to this article to me which she discovered on this website

I only repost articles that aren’t my own if I think that my readers would benefit from reading it. I ask that you read this post to the end before you make any comments. The lessons I’ve written above will make more sense once you’ve read the entire article.  -Kate Nkansa

“What do you want in Ghana? Go back to your country!”

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Zhest Consult Welcomes Kyla Hagedorn


There is an old  African Proverb which states:

I started my consultancy business two years ago. Since then I’ve been looking for a worthy person to include as a  business partner. To my delight I was introduced to Kyla Hagedorn in 2012 and during that period we’ve worked together on a few initiatives and also forged a mutual respect and friendship.

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ICED!Green Tea


Today I met up with a friend in the evening to watch the movie Olympus (good movie just  a bit on the violent side) at the Silverbird Cinema.  We stopped at Enda Restaurant for drinks to while away time before our movie started.

I received good quality service today from a very charming waiter at Enda Restaurant in Accra Mall. Those who know me well, know that I am not easily impressed.  I’m constantly in distress about the  poor standard of services in our hospitality industry. Most times I leave a restaurant, hotel, or retail store stressed and fuming due to rude sales people, waiters and sometimes even owners.

So you know it’s a big deal when I decide to write about this topic.

Let me set the scene…

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Kantamanto in Pictures


Pictures were taken by AFAG (Alliance for Accountable Governance)

Calm has been restored after a stand off between the Kantamanto Traders and Ghana Police.  Sunday May 5, 2013 marked the day Kantamanto Market bellowed in smoke. Two days later it is evident that there is a clear distrust between the traders of Kanatamanto Market and Government represented by The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA). Traders fervently guard what once was their market stalls in fear of it being redistributed unfairly  to Government officials and their cronies should the AMA’s plan to rebuild a modern market materialise.

Police were forced to shoot rubber bullets and teargas into the crowds on the scene during the past two days as desperate traders tried to guard the remains of their stalls.

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Ghana, The Centre of the World


All functional movements are highly dependent on the core.  Our human bodies rely on the strength from our core to function well. Ghana is the centre of the world, and the centre does not hold.

Centres of excellence, within our Arts, Music and Film, Science, Politics, Education, Industry and the Environment.


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Kantamanto is on Fire


Kantamanto is the largest second hand market in Ghana. In the west you’d compare Kantamanto to one gigantic thrift store with second hand wares from all over the world.

During my university days I recall galavanting along the streets of melville and greenside (South Africa) in search of great vintage clothing. The only reason I’ve only been to this market twice during my two and a half years in Ghana is the very reason you’re watching this video. The place is congested  very difficult to walk through and its even more of a nightmare to maneuver  through when it rains, there  are no safety exits and it’s very crowded.

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Goat Business


I need your assistance on this very serious matter.

About a week ago I came across the strangest goat in Ghana.   We have goats of all shapes, sizes and deformities in our country. Bow legged goats aren’t even given a second glance because there are goats with more peculiar features than them. Today I saw a goat that takes the all time goatee prize of the weirdest goat in Ghana, better still the world.


Bow legged Goat on the streets of Accra

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My Big Chop: Going Natural


Going Natural:

Last year I decided to go natural. Going natural meant that I could no longer use chemicals to straighten my hair and I would try within my control to make the healthiest food, clothing and beauty choices.

At the beginning of this year I went vegan for 2 whole months, which meant no eggs, dairy ,sugar,  meat, fish or chicken. Those were the hardest two months; my whole body felt like I was a drug addict going through a detox program. In the first two weeks I had symptoms ranging from headaches, to itchy skin, a few rashes on my chest and arms. Eeek I thought, what have I gotten myself into? I thought that going natural would be so easy.

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An Interview with a Player


This past week I read countless articles about the high rate of AIDS infection in Sub Saharan Africa and the increase in orphans due to the aids pandemic. What I find astounding is that out of the 22 million people living with AIDS and HIV, 12 million of those infected are women and 1.8 million are children (statistics taken from 2007 data). It has forced me to think about relations between men and women, whether the path we are travelling as society is sustainable, productive and beneficial to the progress and prosperity of our continent.  It has also prompted me to ask how we as men and women have contributed to the degradation of our society, which is evident in the high number of people that are HIV positive. For those who are thinking that this will be a male bashing article I assure you that I will be objective  about this topic.

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Divorced Before 30


According to an article written in the New York Times  more marriages dissolve before the age of thirty. This trend is growing in Africa. How many young people in their twenties do you know who are going through separation or divorce after less than 5 years of marriage? What are some of the underlying factors contributing to such a growing trend? Feint & Margin had the opportunity to speak to a young twenty something year old about her marriage and divorce. Kate Nkansa talks to Miss T*  a twenty seven year old woman from South Africa who is divorced and under thirty.

Below is our conversation.

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Gold Diggers Change your Business Model


A few days ago whilst exiting Accra malls parking lot a young woman dressed in tights and a see through chiffon shirt was parading. As you can imagine the men in their cars soon turned their attention on this girl who, judging by her appearance could be no more than 25 years old.  Within a few seconds five men in their SUV‘s and luxury cars were calling her. They were all competing for her attention.  She continued to parade along pretending to ignore them. I say pretending because moments later she would turn flick her Brazilian hair and ask in a fake American twang “oh excuse me were you calling me?”

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I Racially Profiled a White Man…And He Didn’t Seem to Like It



Mind of Malaka

We all don’t use social media the same way. We can agree on that, right? Some people create accounts which are simply used to follow/stalk certain users. Some people are actually interested in contributing to the discourse on a particular subject. Some people never comment on anything; ever. Others still don the cape of the QWERTY Crusader and believe it is imperative that they comment on every tweet, like or status on the Interwebs.

A decade ago, I myself was a QWERTY Crusader, on my way to becoming a keyboard thug. A few encounters with some people who had no conscience, no line, broke me of that. These days, when it comes to other people’s conversations, I keep my comments light and happy unless specifically asked. This has become the norm on social media these days. Nobody really just butts in on someone else’s conversation…unless they are a troll…

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Mr President


Great piece

The Juvenile Community

“Mr President…”

He had fallen madly in love with the title the moment he automatically assumed the seat at the zenith of political power, albeit in a nation which still struggles to shake off the reality of the words “developing country.” Lagoons resembled cesspools of sewage – like the open gutters unimaginably choked and brimming with refuse. Plumes of toxic smoke rise indiscriminately from e-waste jungles where lifespans are halved to levels comparable to footballing careers. Electricity, water and fuel remain unattainable indulgences for majority of the populace, and even [almost all] the wealthiest of communities cannot boast of having all three simultaneously. Corruption pervades every echelon of society – from roadwork contractors embezzling funds while roads resemble stone quarries, to members of parliament who stutter when asked about the flashy cars they drove on Independence Day.

“Mr President…”

Still, his title does not immediately reflect any of these problems…

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