Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Living among the DEAD"

91-04, originally uploaded by World Picture Service.

Call me crazy…
When I saw a news feature on Aljazeera today about poor and desperate Egyptians who have taken over one of Cairo’s major cemeteries and made it their permanent homes, I was flabbergasted to the core of my young life…
Are we safe?
Should it come to this level of desperation and neglect by authorities that children are born in cemeteries, going to school in the cemeteries; people have shops in the cemeteries?
I thought I had it bad….
Poor things! The kids looked totally oblivious to their strange environment.
One young boy of about 12 years old has a dream of becoming a doctor one day.
Oh how HOPEFUL he is…
I do remember there was a similar feature on Sowetans living in the cemetery also, but what really took me aback about the Cairo cemetery was that, the inhabitants have established a community and a strong bond society as if there’s nothing wrong about living in the cemetery.
Artisan shops, schools, day care centers, what you can think of, Kids playing on the tombs without concern are all part of their chores in the graveyard.
Maybe cultural differences have made me too concerned about this feature.
In West Africa, we FEAR the DEAD more than the living.
It is usually assumed and believed that when one dies, it assumes a greater spiritual power than in life. The dead can either harm you for revenge or be your so called guiding spirit (personally don’t buy that crap anyway).
Fear of the dead I must say is very prominent in West Africa for that matter we don’t mess with cemeteries.
I cannot foresee any sane West African for that matter deciding to live in the cemetery because of lack of shelter.
We better of sleeping in store fronts and school campuses that in a cemetery….
I don’t blame the Egyptian authorities fully though, with an estimated 20 million residents in Cairo alone, it is inevitable to have congestion and shortage of housing for all.
May we never be found wanting to this extent in our lives…
Where is Amnesty international when they claim they fight for human rights for all?
I believe the people living in the cemetery even though by choice, their rights to shelter have been abused and the children have also been emotionally and psychologically drained.
Therefore AMNESTY International needs to wake up to this story.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

So Racist and Funny???

So Racist, originally uploaded by YelmelNoBrainer.

A GNA Feature by Boakye-Dankwa Boadi

Accra, 19 Oct. GNA - One does not know how to thank the Nobel Prize winning DNA pioneer, James Watson for that great interview he granted Sunday Times, a British newspaper, in which he was quoted as saying Africans were less intelligent than Europeans.

Our Elders say "se biribi a nko ka papa a papa nngye grede!" to wit "there is always a trigger" and that is exactly what Watson has done for Africans. Indeed some Africans had given up the fight against the inferiority complex war with Europeans.

One dares any person to go onto the streets of Accra to ask the simple question. Are Europeans superior to Africans? One would be surprised about the type of answers one would get. Some would tell you that if you were going to church and you met a European you must go back home because you had already met God.

This mentality has translated into the situation where so called high class Ghanaian women do not feel ashamed to buy second hand braziers and panties imported from Europe to wear and feel proud in them. Highly educated Ghanaians buy and wear second hand coats that might have been discarded by toilet cleaners in Europe.

Just as the war against European superiority seemed to be coming to an end, this thunderbolt is heard and everything changes in favour of Africans. A pile of scientific knowledge that had been available to only a few is now awash for everybody's benefit. Thanks to Watson.
According to BBC website, Dr Craig Venter, the scientist/businessman who led the private effort to decode the human genome, was quoted as saying: "Skin colour as surrogate for race is a social concept not a scientific one. There is no basis in scientific fact as in the human genetic code for the notion that skin colour will be predictive of intelligence."

Another important fact that has been made available is that the structure of DNA, the molecule that lies at the heart of heredity in living organism, showed that there was no scientific basis for the concept of race. "People from different racial groups can be more genetically similar than individuals within the same group. Genetic studies indicate that there is more variability in the gene pool in Africa than outside."

Watson was quoted in the original interview as saying he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours- whereas all the testing says not really". He was further quoted as saying that his hope was that everyone was equal but that "people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true". Watson has since said that the way the words were presented did not reflect properly his position. "I can certainly understand why people, reading those words, have reacted in the ways they have. To all those, who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologise unreservedly.

That is not what I meant. More importantly from my point of view, there is no scientific basis for such a belief".

Now that this knowledge has been made available, Africans should walk this planet with their chests out that they are equal to any other human being.

The Ministry of Information and National Orientation has a huge responsibility to instil in Ghanaians self-worth so that they would stop turning the country into the refuse dump for second hand clothes; second hand cars; second hand tyres; second hand refrigerators; second television sets; second hand cooking utensils and second hand everything.

The above article was written by my News Editing Lecturer GNA Feature Boakye-Dankwa Boadi and posted on Ghanaweb in reaction to the RACIST remarks by Dr. Watson about African being lesser human beings.

Like the Street signpost Photo , RACISM is a subtle undertone in most American societies if not all.....