Monday, June 2, 2014

By Their Deeds...

Did I hear Jacobu Youth Association does not exist?

We can forgive those who have difficulties in reading and comprehension.
But the question is: what are people reading in schools these days? That, when an organised group is perceived to be one and united and its leaders have stayed the course for years, any body who calls him/herself an aggrieved member could employ their little knowledge and write to whom it may concern and declare that united group non-existent?

As if we don't know any of them and what they do. I have witnessed and followed some of them grapple with the little responsibility that leadership gave them in other circles; some have resigned from their posts because circumstances were beyond their control whilst many are yet to swallow the bitter pill of leading a pack.

If it appears that the leaders of JYA are having things all smooth and comfortable, the credit should go to the way and manner these few ones have conducted themselves the last 10 years in both their private and public lives. It is not because they are having things easy and cheap.

Sometimes, some of our folks argue as if the Association is a full-time employment with offices and working hours, where leaders are paid to run the mandate. They slant their accusations to make it sound as if there exists a continuous stream of income from somewhere which the few leaders are misusing. They refer to so-called donations from especially political leaders and most recently the bank as if those monies were thrown at us, at no effort, for and on behalf of the public. Such lack of understanding and sheer jealousy has led many to have tried and set their own sort of association with one ill-motive - to counter JYA. They simply forget that joining and remaining a member of this Association is completely voluntary and self-sacrificing. Or they just don't know. Both are unfortunate and disheartening for a town whose walls remain crumbled and gates opened for plunder.

Now that they have nothing else to offer, they cry JYA non-existent. NOTHING ELSE IS FARTHER FROM THE TRUTH!

Monday, May 19, 2014


Even as I may want to talk my history and ancestry all day, it seldom comes as a treat in that my people are quite oblivious to our own story. I must acquiesce at this juncture and speak to the hearing of the few faithfuls who may have lost themselves in the sea of other scriptures to the detriment of our own.

Personally my biblical heroes are not those that did the most miracles and wonders. Not even the ranting preachers and prophets but the ordinary nation callers/builders who always showed up in time of need to re-build the walls of Jerusalem. Anytime I read of the exploits of Ezra and Nehemiah, my passion for Jakobu is rekindled more and would want to do more to see it rebuilt. But the people of Judah knew their history and all the stories of their ancestors. They saw the wisdom to pen the once all oral narratives into written documents to be revered, read, and understood for a guided living.  Perhaps, Israel's strength lied not only with the power of their omnipotent God but by the sheer  devotion of the Jews to who they are and where they come from. If today more than a quarter of the global citizens profess the Jewish faith cum Christian movement, the credit goes to the ordinary people who upheld their faith even in the midst of storms, foreign occupation, subjugation, oppression and tyranny. 

One fascinating revelation is how those men (and women) were called by God and the people's reception of them.  Yes, it were never easy  for any of them be it a prophet, king or judge in administering their mission and calling. The universal 'human nature' -  which remains constant in any human grouping - at the time, always caused  a hindrance/resistance of sorts. Some prophets and their message were ignored, some kings were killed, some lawgivers were blatantly disobeyed... but at any point in time, the sent ones who responded to the call had a way to channel their message across. Today, it is still these names that the biblical chapters are written of/about and we all attest to the reverence we attach to such names even as we seek the face of God and heaven.

When I was way younger, Jakobu had few people we looked up to. The Agyekums, the Gyapongs, the Fosus... and the others were accorded such exalted respect that, their very presence alone inspired confidence in a  schoolchild such as me and most of my colleagues. I remember when my mates talked about Kwabena Gyapong of blessed memory, my heart always leapt in anticipation of my future input. The future is here with me at last and sadly, finding such an inspiration has become a hope that may go unfulfilled. It may be the time to question our Gods why such men are not reincarnating any longer; and if one is alive, how have they prepared him/her/them for this hour?

Now, Jakobu is rife with almost all the institutions that should see to its glory but the fact remains unchallenged that, the good people of Jakobu are yet to have full control of any of their vital institutional assets. There is a score of people in and among us who believe that perhaps, the palace horn must be blown and assemble the forces both ancestral and current, our deities and people - to reclaim and take charge of what is rightfully ours. And many are those assets that must be reorganized to the people's benefit: the gold, the land, leadership and human resource, and our treasury.

One more thing should not be overlooked as nothing when in fact, it is the crucial thing -- our human capacity building! We should, as a matter of urgency, consider the next step in our mind-training practices. The school system is good enough but must not continue to 'stop' at SHS. We need a post-sec institution as soon as possible. Our current youth mix is a people with diverse educational backgrounds. This is good but we need more. Funding for higher education remains the greatest deterrent to this mind-training call which I call on the town to find it important to sit on and make proper decisions to source and allocate funds for higher learning. Other than that, we shall continue to witness this ghastly reality of our affairs being taken care of by people who less understand us.

I am very comforted the way our own young people are calling for a unified front. The youth association may not have 'delivered' as some of us hoped. But the fact that a few kept the dream alive may be the elixir stirring up the unity wave right now. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the resurrection of the JYA and yes, our time is always now to act and do what is right. But oneness is a feat denied many a youth movement. The caution here is that those in power - in whichever form or practice - do not rejoice to deal with a united front especially a cluster of youth. So youth leaders and followers alike must watch out for such tendencies that come in many forms and guises.

In the final analysis, we are one people bonded by the Jakobu spirit and blood. The vision remains same: let us arise together to rebuild this ancient city on the hill. We will need greater strength and resolve but we are up to the task. We are the post-war era after all.

Monday, January 13, 2014


Post colonial Ghana hasn't been very different from the Gold Coast in terms of public education. We have our independence but our minds are yet to be freed from foreign indoctrination and tuned back into the local frequency.
Two main institutions that run our public brainwashing systems are the schools and the church/religion.

As an educationist, I would be the last person to condemn formal schooling and education. For all my years I served the Ghana Education Service, never did it leave me that our school system is far from Ghanaian. The mathematical formulas and concepts, scientific methods and chemical equations, the social studies of the government structure and the strict enforcement to speak only in the foreign language culminated in putting the developing mind of the Ghanaian child into serious  jeopardy. Little wonder that our minds, after all its schooling seem to be found wanting when it comes to solving our local/national problems. Even after completion, a school product still cannot fathom what our problems are let along devise interventions to rectify them.

For about eight years since the Jacobu Youth Association initiated the Inter-JHS Quiz competition (which is now a district-wide campaign), it is worthy of note that Social Studies ranks the first problematic subject among the four:- English Language, Mathematics, Integrated Science and Social Studies. What our junior minds are yet to know is not really anything big or difficult but our own local district/constituency affairs! For all the ten years since the inception of the Amansie Central District, not one of its daily affairs is ever a topic for study in any of the basic schools. Schoolchildren here are very much able to mention not less than five sector ministers at a go but can spend the whole day naming who the District Finance Officer is. Teachers cannot be blamed for this neither is it wise to accuse our juniors for failing to know the obvious. Interestingly pathetic as it is, the local government concept is largely not understood and practically made less effective. This is because even the local adult population cannot fully grasp the import of the assembly! Hence, we are yet to really know what is currently ongoing at the Assembly - the misappropriation of funds, antagonism, underutilized human resources and all.

Nowhere is it of any concern to either the Local Assembly or the Education Service directorate that such a phenomenon needs to be looked into and proper actions taken to reverse the situation for the better. As it is now, it is not yet considered important to orient our developing minds to the cause of this district/constituency. So I foresee many times ahead when even in the district dispensation, it would have been better to leave the gates open for plunder.

Where the school system failed, the existence of the church succeeded albeit NOT to the interest of the people and definitely not that of the nation at large. I know the premium my folks put on drawing closer to a higher power for spiritual guidance, protection from evil and the ultimate entrance into everlasting life. But the church is more instituted to champion the cause of the Israeli Jews than that of Gyakobuman/Ghana or Afrika. The weekly sermons admonish us to look unto Jerusalem for salvation and final rapture. God the almighty is not from here and so we are told his plans can only benefit us once we make it to heavenly Jerusalem some time soon.

On the grounds, Jakobu alone houses close to thirty chapels/temples of worship on Saturdays and  Sundays. The Muslims have succeeded in securing a land for their mosque as well. Weekly revenues that go into those houses surpass any levies the assembly collects in a month! Annual harvests for individual churches can raise close to GH¢ 100,000.00 with a single church garnering more than what the entire community raises for development projects. Yet all the congregations are natives who know this is the land of their birth - their true inheritance - yet have been led to believe that a certain god has prepared a better place for them somewhere beyond the skies flowing with milk and honey and the streets paved with gold.
The comeuppance of such unfortunate miseducation is that, the average believer cares less about the betterment of his/her immediate surrounding, apathetic to our public affairs, and clueless about his/her everlasting inheritance - this land!

If the religious advent had made things better, I'd be its advocate but alas, the home is broken once fathers relinquished their responsibility as heads of the family and invited 'christ' as the rightful head. Christian mothers, instead of bringing their offsprings, spend almost all their married life warding off 'irresponsible girls' from coming near their husbands as the church espouses. Yet it's a daily occurrence to see many of our unmarried women mothering a child a or two from a father whose beliefs prevent him from marrying two. What becomes of such a child? It is left to God who first didn't welcome  it in his holy temple. Obviously the African family unit is hijacked yet to be ransomed.

How dare you call yourself native and a kith and kin when you don't even know your 300-year history? What value is your inheritance when you barely know where your land begins or ends? How do we build a community we seldom think about? What is education if it estranges the mind from its habitat? With what do we make decisions for a better future if we cannot appreciate the core challenges of today?


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

On Top of this Mountain

We are sleeping on gold
Yet we keep wake in poverty and scarcity

Imagine with me
And see Gyakobu in the small village it was three centuries ago
I can see life then in its pure and primitive forms
Living in this thick odotobri forest
Sharing the land with the crows and other birds, the cobra and the other snakes
And all living creatures manifesting as rivergods, rocks, ancient trees and hills

Beneath such grandeur of evergreen foliage
Everywhere is gold!
Underneath the mountains are giant rocks and rivers - the custodians
We have watched outsiders invade our ancestral treasury
Stealing our gold in broad day light, sadly...

At this hour
Mmarima Krom is weak and feeble
The way-showers have good intentions but possess no common vision...
...No universal plan, no public agenda, no development strategy; no unity of purpose
Our women continue to be kept home and take no interest in public discourse

We fail to honour who we are
Our parents no longer tell us nativity stories
The old folks are still shrewdly considered evil
The youth is lost and divided -  yet to unite!
For there is no time to who we are or where we come from
We fail to regard the other as a kith and kin - a family so to speak

Hardly do we, as a people, discuss the development of Gyakobu
So district assembly concept is largely not understood
The constituency is yet to see an institution carved out of our parliamentary representation
We have left the city gates  opened for plunder - we are invaded!
Yet the native is blinded by poverty and ignorance
The sojourner eats the fat of the land as we lick the dripping blood and fight over bones

Wake up, my people
Our time is up; tomorrow comes today
This is the land God promised you when coming to Earth
That Gyakobu is your inheritance
It should mean more to you than your religious denomination and political party
The greatest is the land, and we are her people
The trees are ours; and the rivers and the hills and all beneath it!

Are you awake?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Building The City Walls

20 Years of Constituency Rule
10 Years of District Status

Since the time when Adu Darko founded this city upon this mountain, never has Jakobu been blessed with an era rife with so much potential, possibility and conscious community development such as the present day. Yet it took our ancestral blood over 300 years to arrive at this generation; here and now, we are called to walk into tomorrow hand in palm as one people for that's what we truly are. 
Unfortunately, in the gleam of this light-filled day, darkness has befell my people.
Our eyes see next to nothing even as our ears has become hard of hearing. Our current amnesia is a result of the growth and expansion in numbers since the first clan mingled with all other clans in producing the extended families and households we have today.  Our farming founders extended their farming activities into other hamlets and cottages giving birth to more villages and towns. 

It brought us this far - the smaller clans became large enough; our village became a town which has grown to become a city befitting a constituency and district capital today.The time has come for us to fulfill whatever libation or sacrifice or prayer our ancestors offered to Otwediampon Kwame and Asaase Yaa in our name and time.
I remember our forefathers affirming amen to all the cocks and sheep whose blood was drained along with spirits and drinks to invoke the gods for this day:

We have seen a great harvest of people across over 260 satellite towns and village settlements.
We have been blessed with evergreen foliage and flowing streams which are currently under attack by gold diggers.
We have built schools and have our children read and write and speak even a  foreign language.
We have grown a bank from scratch and - in thirty years now - producing beautiful fruits.
We have a fledgling hospital - thanks to the christian advent.
We have been invited to a seat in the Parliament House of this country.
We continue to extend electricity into the hinterlands and rightly so.
We have been accorded a district status.
We no longer drink from wells and streams and rivers. Water flows instead.

Now Jacobu is a digital location... literally a dot on your map and Net!
We must connect the city to its universal port.
We must build a post secondary college to absorb the products from our high schools.
We must prepare befitting state park/playing grounds for our young and energetic bodies.
We must shed our religious/partisan/personal differences for they serve no higher purpose. 
We must revisit our farming  seasons and methods to produce more bumper harvest for the growing population.

To do that 
We will need a unity of thought fashioned by strong leadership.
We will need our MP and DCE to align with the Chief/Queen and all institutional heads (especially the bank, the hospital and the SHS) in charting the way forward.
We will need our religious denominations to orient our people's minds to their own community affairs other than sending their heart to the course of the Jews. We are Asantes! God knows we are!!
We need conscious community development plan.
We need to meet more often at the community center to just share the synergy of a one people.

Once all these walls are built, our linking roads shall lead into this destined ancient city on the hill - Jakobu. 

Me ma mo Afehyia Pa!!