Global mamas

Waste management is an enormous problem for many African countries. Streets and gutters are clogged with polythene bags, and empty water sachets. As communities grapple with how to keep their environs clean, an NGO in Ghana called Global Mamas is offering tangible solutions by converting litter discarded on our streets into handbags, raincoats and pencil cases.

As a fair trade organization Global Mamas offer the people who work in their factories fair wages and an exposure to the international market. Global Mamas is turning trash to treasure in a socially responsible way. Watch the video attached to find out more about this organization http://youtu.be/SuUb4q4xu5c.

Gagged Africans

 Ghana is often touted as being the shining light in Africa. But inspite of our economic gains and political strides, we carry a shameful secret – Child trafficking. This issue repossessed my attention this morning when i read the headline on Myjoyonline.com “Police seize busload of suspected trafficked children”
So here i was charged and poised to address child trafficking in Ghana. Then i paused. I thought about how it will be perceived for a so called proud African like me to join the masses who vilify the continent, her culture and her people. I am tired of the images of war-torn-africa, malnourished-africa, broke- africa, the mud-hut-and-lion africa… I prefer to rewrite in Caps lock, another story about the Africa they don’t show you. The DEVELOPED-AFRICA, THE FASHION- FORWARD AFRICA, THE EDUCATED-AFRICA. Yet, I remain torn about how to address this issue. On one hand, I hate the fact that the narrative from western media about Africa is always so negative. Yet how can Africans tackle the legitimate ills of our culture if we cannot publicly discuss it for fear of being black listed as a turncoat.

Unfortunately, some where between these two narratives, the truth is being suppressed and issues like child trafficking are ignored. Why should we talk about this uncomfortable picture that does not fit the glowing 21st century mosaic we want to to project to the world?

The shameful truth about child trafficking is that some of these children are plucked from their villages to serve as maids in our luxurious home. They iron our clothes and wash our floors. They sell onions and tomatoes to us in the market. In the streets, they chase after our cars to sell us bottled water and granny smith apples. We see them everyday, but we have become completely desensitized to their plight. Nonetheless, It is not too late for us to be bold and talk about this shameful epidemic and find innovative solutions to end it!

Disclaimer: By ‘we’ I mean ‘you’ and your friends, not ‘me’ . I do not want to talk about child trafficking and other ills of our culture. Can’t you see, I am part of the colourful and positive mosaic of Africa . I am also a Gagged African.

Written by Amma Bonsu

Irregardless I refudiate to conversate

Uh oh… Sarah Palin is in the news again. This time she has come under attack for the use of the nonexistent word ‘refudiate.’ The reaction in the media and on the streets is that of overwhelming disappointment. What? Does she not use spell check? Does she not proofread? Others were convinced it was an actual word…

In this particular case, I am willing to give her a pass because I have also fallen victim to moments when you try to use a big word instead of settling for something easier and simpler. Exhibit A: In Form 3 I wanted to use a really fancy word for lawyer so I said ‘banister’. My friend Emefa, a certified English language guru, nearly ruptured her spleen laughing. I have countless moments when I have butchered the English language in 18 different ways. That is why I am tolerant of momentary lapses that bring forth ‘repudiate’.

What I have no tolerance for is how the English speaking society has embraced the use of things like ‘irregardless, conversate, and mines’. A co- worker who shall remain nameless, loves using ‘irregardless’. It makes her feel sophisticated and learned. She uses it generously with clients, associates and vice presidents alike. Each time I hear it, my knees buckle.

My cousin took possessive pronouns to a new level when she used the word ‘mines’, but she was 5years old at the time. What excuse do high schools students who use ‘mines’ have? I don’t want to seem like a militant grammar snob, but I believe we need to start an English language revolution to make dictionaries and encyclopedias relevant again. On a final note, there is no excuse for the use of ‘conversate’. If you use that word I cannot even converse with you right now.

P.s. If you find an error in this piece I will make you the leader of this revolution ;)

Malaak Compton Rock

Malaak Compton-Rock deserves to be recognized for her selfless commitment to giving back to her community. Malaak discovered her passion for service when she joined the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. After 3 successful years raising the visibility of the organization, Malaak left UNICEF to establish styleWORKS, a non-profit grooming and image consulting agency which helps women transition from welfare to work.

In 2008, this inexhaustible mother of 2 started the Angelrock Project, an online initiative to promote volunteerism and social responsibility. In her Journey for Change program, she partners with Global Service to extend a caring and helpful hand to at-risk youth by introducing them to global volunteer service. This program is empowering and innovative because it encourages troubled youths to step beyond the parameters of their personal difficulties and spend 2 weeks volunteering in a developing country. Upon their return, they become Global Ambassadors for one year. The powerful impact of this opportunity in the lives of these young children was aptly captured in the debut of CNN’s Black in America 2.

A dedicated wife, mother and entrepreneur, Malaak is the embodiment of her favourite quote: ‘Service is the rent we pay for living’ and for that, she is truly AMMAZING!

Written by Amma Bonsu

Apple does it again

First name: i Last name: Pad

Date of Birth – April 3rd 2010

Height – 9.56 inches

Weight 1.5 pounds

Father – Steve Jobs

Mother – undisclosed

Already immunized against viruses. No breastfeeding required

Okay, maybe it is not a human being but with the frenetic international attention it has been getting, you would think it was an endangered living species. From the moment it debuted in stores in the US and around the world, the iPad quickly garnered a cult like following. Crowds of people enveloped blocks of building waiting to be the first to cradle this ultra thin multipurpose gadget in their arms. The excitement began in the US and buzzed across other parts of the world. In Japan people dressed in iPad costumes, in Toronto makeshift iPads were duct taped on foreheads, in Sydney they cheered and danced like they were getting free samples.

On the contrary, the iPad can be yours for a neat sum of $449. Due to its advanced capabilities this new tool has been touted to revolutionalize everything from education, to entertainment. It has a large responsive Multi-Touch screen that splits to accommodate an on screen keyboard. It uses a high resolution 9.7 inch LED-backlit In-Plane-Switching technology which creates a vivid display and a more intimate experience. Universal access is built into the iPad, so people with disabilities do not have to worry about set up; the iPad is ready to use right out of the box.

Two months after its release, the reviews support the hype, the iPad is the shiznit❊. But even before your heart returns to its resting rate, it has been confirmed that a new iPhone is due to be released. Let the madness begin.

❊Ammazing

Written by Amma Bonsu