New Year Resolutions Are For Losers

New Year Resolutions Are For Losers

By fiifi DZANSI


We are here again.

The end of the year.

The number one thing on most people’s minds is how to make the next year better. Hence the new year resolutions. 

What makes it a worrying situation is that many are now going to reflect on their lives to see what went wrong and rectify the mishaps.

Then there’ll be a long list of usually elusive goals for the future. In the end, dreams will be left unattended to and many more set for the future.

We treat a new year as if it’s an entirely new universe, where we step to and rediscover ourselves and uncover the unknown.

There’ll be many prophesies of goodwill and stickers proclaiming a bountiful beginning clinging to vehicles everywhere you go. But if such proclamations really worked, there’ll be fewer poor or unfulfilled people left on the streets.

What makes the matter worse is many believe someone needs to hold their hands to cross into the new year. Some would pay hefty sums for a prayer that promises them good fortune in the new year.

In truth, a new year is just another day. It’s another Monday, Tuesday… you get the point. Nothing dramatic is going to happen. You’re not crossing the red sea to the promised land. Your current situation may even get worse.

See, we are not in a time machine that will spew us out into a different era.

Stop stressing about the new year. It’s nothing special.

While writing this article, I checked my timeline on Twitter. And the majority of Africans are all about resolutions, grandiose proclamations and some lowkey prophecies for the new year.

On the other hand, Americans, Europeans, and others are going about business as usual. Many of them understand that the new year is just another day.

But don’t get me wrong. 

We need to plan for the future. Anyone who doesn’t would live an aimless life. The way we go about it makes the difference. 

Every day allows us to start on a clean slate.

I have a Goal-board that I use. It’s divided into four quarters, with each quarter having its goals and three months to accomplish them. It’s all broken down into little daily tasks.

Each day, wake up with a heart full of gratitude. Count your blessings in the morning. This helps to drive away bad energy and inject you with the will to face the day. Plan what to accomplish in the day and go conquer mountains.

Find a peaceful place to reflect on your life at the end of each day. Be open about it, and don’t sweep anything under the carpet. Be grateful for your achievements, no matter how small they might be. The stuff that didn’t go well, find a way to resolve them.

Put one foot in front of another. 

Keep your goals doable. 

Break them down into chewable bits.

What have we talked about?

Don’t wait till the end of the year to start planning your life. Every day is a new life, a new year (if you wish to call it that).

Life is a daily affair.

Make each day count.

Let’s Go Organic

Let's go organic

By fiifi DZANSI


We can all become organic farmers/gardeners.

Commercial farming practices, including the use of fertiliser and pesticides, are not sustainable. We are losing much of our bee population and other organisms. It’s worrying.

Some have switched to organic farming. That’s where the trend must head if we are serious about climate change. Crops grown in the organic farming system are healthier. And this method helps preserve our ecosystem.

With all the benefits, why aren’t all farmers taking this direction?

Organic farming isn’t easy.
It takes time.
Controlling pests is difficult. And yield may not be as bountiful.

Many argue that the world is in serious need of food to feed the hungry. And organic farming may not help hasten things up.

Humans once practised organic farming before tech got to this stage. If we are determined enough, we can turn things around.

One bold step is for all of us to start our gardens wherever we live on Earth.

First, it helps to appreciate where the food we eat comes from. We may have some basic food we can put on our plate. The delight that comes from eating from your own harvest can not be overemphasised.

Composting is a vital part of organic farming. The food we no longer need, dead plants and animal droppings are kept in a bin. Over time it becomes a natural food for the crop we grow in our gardens. This practice reduces food waste in refuse dumps and decreases our greenhouse problems.

Gardening requires some sort of dedication and commitment. So start small. Even if you live in a high-rising apartment in the city, you can grow herbs and veggies in containers on your balcony.

It’s Dangerous To Let Your Kid sit On A stranger’s Lap On A Bus

It's Dangerous To Let Your Kid sit On Someone's Lap On A Bus

By fiifi DZANSI


A woman boards a bus with a baby strap to her back and pulls her six-year-old boy along.
She sits, unwraps her baby from the cloth behind and places her on her lap.

The boy doesn’t have a seat. He has to stand in front of his mom.

A stranger offers to make the boy sit on his lap.

Why?

Kids of that age are unofficially not allowed to have their own seats on a bus. They either sit on someone’s lap or stand through the journey.

It’s become our culture. Don’t ask me where it came from.

We feel kids under six or so should not take a seat. It’s free when they stand or sit on someone’s lap. They are too small to occupy a space. They don’t deserve it. Seats are reserved for adults only.

This practice hurts children both physically and emotionally.

The stranger offering their lap as seat may be a psycho who could take advantage of the situation to touch your kid inappropriately. And that could result in more grievous acts. At such a tender age, many kids wouldn’t understand such lewd behaviour.

It may haunt them in their adulthood.

I once heard a story of a man. He continually violated a girl who used to sit on his lap on a bus.

A stranger may be carrying a contagious disease such as TB, Sarcoptic mange, Leprosy, COVID etc. and transfer it to your kid. This, in turn, would spread through your family. Pray it has a cure, though. Otherwise, it may be an illness your kid has to manage for the rest of their life.

Other times too, some parents allow strangers on a bus to feed their kids. It’s unhealthy.

Parenting doesn’t come cheap. I know. Paying your kid’s transportation is can be expensive, especially if you have more kids. But it comes with the whole package. Your responsibility as a parent includes protecting your young ones from predators.

Children deserve to have a seat on a bus. It’s dignifying and civil. They’re not just a bunch of load you haul along, but humans whose futures are in the making.

Also, when you allow your kid to take a seat, you’re training them to learn independence – that they don’t have to depend on others all the time. It’s a sign they’re no longer babies.

Children are the most vulnerable in society. Easy targets for the bad guys. So as a parent, you need to teach them not to trust strangers and scream bloody murder when someone touches certain parts of their body.

I’m not being paranoid. This is a real issue you must not brush aside.

Buses are more economical, and not every parent can afford ride-hailing services or taxis.

If you don’t own a car, transportation fare has to be part of your family budget.

Attributing Success Of An Ewe To Juju Is Not Funny

Attributing Success Of An Ewe To Juju Is Not Funny

By fiifi DZANSI


23rd November 2021.

Keta Senior High Technical School (Ketasco) made it to the National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ) finals. They strolled past Wesley Girls SHS and Tamale SHS in the semifinals. 

Twitter went boom! Amid the drama, there were claims that Ketasco had the aid of Juju and ancestors such as Togbe Agorkoli and Togbe Tsali – two mythical characters. 

Agorkoli was a vicious king who made life wretched for his subjects. Compare him to Hitler, and you may be right. 

How could such a chap (who’s dead anyway) back a school to glory in a science and maths quiz? 

Blogs swiftly screenshot the tweets for their articles, calling them “hilarious reactions” in the NSMQ. 

Disgusting.

The youth dispersing this may be having fun.

But those seemingly unharmful tweets go beyond kidding around on a virtual platform to entertain others.

It’s really a lingering problem we have all failed to solve – Tribalism.

Every now and again, I have to face this harsh reality of life.

I came back to Accra in 1995, after spending over 10 years in the Volta Region (People from the Volta region in Ghana speak Ewe and are referred to as Ewes or Voltarians). In my first exams in Junior Secondary School form two, I placed first in Ga, a language I could barely speak.

Some of my mates attributed my academic success to Juju. I heard they went to a ‘prophet’ to reveal my deeds to them. Such a cowardly step was a mere excuse to keep lazing about.

After a meeting, one evening, An elderly man among us had a phone call. In the beginning, he spoke with a hum, then somewhere in the middle of the conversation, we heard him say, “Hey, how can you leave your building to a Ewe man to look after? He’ll kill you and take it!”

There was an overpowering silence among us.

We were shocked to the core over such a thoughtless statement coming from a grey-headed man.

It hurts that I have to go through this stigma or hear about the predicaments of others.

The unfortunate thing about it is, you don’t choose your tribe – you inherit it. And there’s nothing you can do about that.

Long ago, rumours spread through the entire county, accusing Ewes of soliciting the help of their ancestors and gods to kill others or make their paths prosperous.

If this were true, that Ewes have the support of their gods, the Volta region would’ve been the most developed in Ghana.

But it’s not.

Pupils study in dilapidated buildings in some parts of the region. Poverty is prevalent. 

These are just two infinite examples.

Not everyone from this region dabbles in Juju, or worse, have ‘native insurance.’

Like all other places on Earth, people have their prefered religion they subscribe to. It’s a freedom of choice.

Don’t go flipping pillows in the Volta region in search of idols. You might not find any. 

Such generalisation – pressing people into such a tiny box is sensitive and leaves scars that cannot heal.

There are reports of people denied employment because they come from the Volta Region. Others also lost relationships.

This is tribalism in plain clothes in broad daylight, in a country that rides on the fictitious banner of peace. We blame Westerners for racism. We join the #BlackLivesMatter movement from here. Yet, we overlook this divisive act. And pretend everything is ok.

Back to Ketasco.

Well, after cuddling the nation’s heart, they failed to lift the trophy. In our hearts, they’re the winners. Though they came without a glamorous history as the other two finalists, they fought with dignity and gave hope to us all.

Ketasco made history as the first SHTS from the Volta to make it to the NSMQ finals.

For Ghana to move forward in peace without hypocrisy, we need to blur the line between tribes and allocate resources to develop all parts of the country without favouritism.

Also, take a note from my parents. My dad married from a different tribe, and they gave me a name from another tribe. Mom learned Dad’s language and culture and vice versa. 

This courageous act instilled tolerance in us and paved the way we treat others in the future.

Twitter Needs To Change As Jack Steps Down As CEO

Twitter Needs To Change As Jack Steps Down As CEO

By fiifi DZANSI


Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal takes over as CEO as Jack Dorsey steps down from the position.

Jack Dorsey has been criticised for running the social media platform halfheartedly. When Donald Trump’s account got suspended on Twitter, Jack was reportedly chilling on a private island somewhere.

In recent years, Twitter has fallen behind some of its peers, such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Despite the tremendous power Twitter holds – the sort that helped toppled governments – some reports say they also struggle to make a profit.

I joined Twitter over 9 years ago and witnessed the lows and highs of the platform.

Twitter Was My Second Home

Firstly, Twitter was my hideout, where I mostly learned about design and got links to some of the most gripping articles ever written. I fell in love with the minimal design and the power of hashtags. Quickly, I talked my friends into joining. 

Secondly, Twitter wasn’t a platform for sharing trivial matters like the texture of your hair or how it feels to have a big backside. Such stuff and nonsense belong to Facebook or elsewhere. Twitter was all about the news, what’s currently happening.

Lastly, Twitter instantly connected me to professionals I admired.

Twitter is losing it now.

They bought the micro-video sharing site Vine and soon exterminated it in 2019. The same happened to Periscope. In their attempt to stay hip, they counterfeited ‘Status’ and named it Fleets. That idea, though, couldn’t fly high enough. 

Unhesitatingly, they cast it to the dogs. Next comes Spaces, a live audio conversation feature where users can host events and discuss matters. 

I love this for its clearness and audio-only feature. It’s easy on our internet data. My hope is that it stays longer than its predecessor, Fleets.

Two things must change on the platform immediately.

Twitter Has Become A Haven For Trolls

Annoying and surprising as it may sound, the platform allows hate and dehumanising speech, insults, and bullying to roam with impunity.

Yes, there’s freedom of speech to protect in the 21st century. But that freedom has a limit and comes with responsibility. 

Management is obviously finding it almost impossible to tackle these issues. Some celebrities have chosen to stay off it.

Non-celebrities, especially in Ghana, have found a more convenient way of receiving the coveted blue badge on Twitter. 

It’s that simple. 

Start trolling celebrities or famous people. Say the most disgusting and hilarious things about them. Annoy them so much they feel uncomfortable and reply. People love to stand by and watch such tweets as entertainment. 

In time, you’ll rack up an astronomical amount of

followers and become an influencer. At this point, Twitter considers you a public figure and verifies you when you ask them to. Lastly, stop trolling and keep your account clean.

Twitter needs to tackle this problem head-on by severely punishing or banishing these good-for-nothings from their space. I know the owners feel they’re doing their best in this regard. But their best is far from what we expect.

Twitter must verify accounts that have a positive impact on humanity. Not just those with massive followers.

But why can’t they verify people who decide to register with their passports and sign to adhere to their rules?

Twitter Trends Are Annoying

Do you wrinkle your brow before checking the trends?

For me, yes. I hesitate to tap on trends because I don’t know the sort of worms I’d be exposed

to. 

Some names, when they trend, it’s all about nudity,

scandals, sex or porn. You dare not touch them if you want to avoid any nightmare.

When many people talk about a particular subject or word, it takes up a seat among the trends. It’s faulty thinking, however, that because a majority care about a topic, then I will too.

Often I don’t. Because it regularly contains hate speech, tweets that incite anger and divide people.

I should be able to choose topics that trend on my TL. I’m interested in tech, design and sustainability. Those are the stuff I want to see. Not insults of the president or mockery of football players trying to get over a loss. 

Put that power in my hands and make the algorithm robust enough to sweep away the hatefulness quickly.

COVID: South Africa Is Being Punished For Identifying Omicron

COVID: South Africa Is Being Punished For Identifying Omicron

by fiifi DZANSI


There’s a new variant of COVID-19 on the block. It’s Omicron.
Scientists say it spreads very fast. But we need a little more data to know what we’re actually up against.

Omicron was first discovered by scientists in South Africa. This is an effort that deserves worldwide applause. But it’s not meant to be.

Unhappily, South Africa is taking blames for bringing it to the world. Many naive news outlets are reporting Omicron to originate from South Africa.

If South Africa has such sophisticated health facilities to discover this new variant and alert the world of it, they must be honoured. And praised for working with the world without covering up vital information that could help save lives. Also, it means their health system is at par with the so-called developed world.

The stigma results in some countries placing travel bans on South Africa and several others from southern Africa.
This action is primaeval.

We’ve been living with COVID for two years. Leaders have experimented with various means to subdue the situation, such as total lockdowns, travel bans and many others. However, the most effective measure to date is vaccination.

Again, this sort of draconian action would deter others from disseminating any new information regarding COVID, knowing the consequences awaiting them.

It may be why China wasn’t forthcoming with information when COVID emerged from Wuhan.

They tightly kept a lid on all information and punished those who dared to speak out. The world condemned such an act, calling it undemocratic and inhumane.

Vaccines have proved very effective so far, with WHO pushing everyone on the planet to get a jab.

Regrettably, African countries are still struggling to secure vaccines for their people.

Most developed nations are hoarding the vaccines.
Their primary focus is on the well-being of their citizens. But covid is a pandemic, a world tragedy. Until everyone gets free from it, we are all not.

These stingy nations should be ashamed of themselves and bury their heads in the sand with profound apologies.

COVID is not an African disease like Ebola or Malaria. Where the world could turn its back and move on as if nothing happened. Our health is interrelated.

So the travel ban on South Africa is unfounded.
It will only choke out the country’s economy.
Omicron is also detected in the UK, Italy and Germany.

It’s not a South African disease.

Going forward: the world needs to encourage nations to be honest and willing to share valuable information without the fear of repercussion. Travel bans, closing borders wouldn’t do much to curb the spread.

We need to understand that COVID is part of us. Therefore, we have to continue washing hands and wearing masks.

Vaccines are effectively playing their part. And soon, we’ll have a variety of treatments for COVID.

You’re Not Self-Made

You're not self-made

By fiifi DZANSI


Certain people are often referred to as self-made billionaires.
On the surface, it means they did not inherit their wealth but worked had to earn it all.

Is it reasonable to say someone is self-made?

I find it awkward that there’s such a thing.

No individual makes it on their own. The wealthy have loyal employees and right-hand people who work hard, probably harder, each day to churn out great ideas that make businesses boom.

Some people give you a push along the way through various contributions.
And they deserve acknowledgement as contributors to your achievements.

On another side of this, some call themselves self-taught.
Self-taught artist, musician, poet etc.

Meaning they teach themselves how to do this stuff without going through the formal education system.

Again, can you be self-taught?

It’s a definite No!

Everything we know on this planet, we learn from others.

No matter the sort of education you have – be it formal or informal – someone teaches you.
You read books on a particular subject. That author, in this sense, becomes your teacher.

Perhaps, as an artist, you observe, carefully, the techniques of Kofi Amoah or read books on legendary painters like Picasso, Van Gogh, among others.

These people are your tutors who lead you to discover your path.

Education in our time is changing.

Instead of sitting in front of an old, bearded professor who probably has lost touch with the current world, some young folks decide to learn on their own.

They watch YouTube tuts, Ted talks, take courses on Coursera, read books, and get mentored by professionals.

I learned most of my trade on my own. I work hard to be the best version of myself.

Does that make me self-made?

I dare not say yes.

Because that’d come across as preposterous, arrogant and parsimonious. And disappoint those who stand by me through all the struggle.

Let’s Share The Same Canteen


By fiifi DZANSI


I had an internship with a renowned textile company in Ghana years ago.

It was a dream come true. I learned many design practices and principles from this institution.

However, something upset me.

The canteen. This is what happens there.

Management has a different canteen from the junior staff including the factory workers. Though the management and senior staff work in air-conditioned rooms and don’t do much physical work, their lunch was posh and more nutritious.

Factory workers, however, will plod their way to the canteen each afternoon and eat a meagre meal. It feels like a US correctional facility.

But logic dictates that people who do much physical work need to eat big.

So they can continue to be productive.

When management uses the same canteen as everyone else, it promotes good work-relationships.

In addition, management sees firsthand what the concerns are and learn how to improve working conditions.

Lastly, this action proves that everyone has value – whether you’re the cleaner or the boss.

Living Today Now – the power in positive thinking

Living today now - the power in positive thinking



By fiifi DZANSI

The key to happiness is living in today, not tomorrow or yesterday.

Where are you living?

This is an important question my psychologist, Dr Eric Howusu-Kumi, asked me. It opened my eyes instantly to the power of positive living. He has written a book with the title ‘Living Now – the power of positive thinking.’

This easy-to-read book is packed with research works, quotes from famous people who used the power of positive thinking to achieve greatness. And practical suggestions on how to liberate ourselves from negativity and overcome depression, anxiety and the like.

I will share some of the insight later.

We are living in one of the most perplexing times in history. COVID-19 pandemic struck the world and has affected everyone in every part of the globe. According to sources, it’s caused a spike in mental health-related problems.

Some people have lost their jobs or loved ones to death. With these and other predicaments, they become trapped in the past, dwelling on the things they no longer have or fretting over lost opportunities.

Others are scared of what the future holds. Will things go from bad to worse or become better? Or maybe we have this paradisaic future we always dream about, and we neglect now, today or the life we currently possess.  

In all truthfulness, though, Dr Eric Howusu-Kumi reiterates throughout the book again and again that we have no control over yesterday and tomorrow. The only life we are promised is what we have right now.

So we must live life now to the fullest and enjoy all the blessings that come along. Take time to eat the food you have before you, tasting, smelling and feeling the texture. When you take your bath feel the cold shower on your body on a sunny day.

Take advantage of opportunities that come your way, no matter how small they may be. And take control of your own life.

Benefits of Positive Thinking

I can’t share hall I learned from the book because you need a copy for yourself.

Before I conclude, let me say that it’s a necessary step to know the benefits of positive thinking. These would help us to be more resolved to live a life hinged on positivity.

Here are some benefits outlined in ‘Living Today Now – the power of positive thinking.’

  1. Positive thinking generates greater confidence and higher self-esteem.  
  2. Positive thinking promotes stronger social relationships
  3. Positive thinking promotes good physical health
  4. Positive thinking increases life span
  5. Positive thinking makes us more resilient.
  6. Positive thinking turns problems into opportunities
  7. Positive thinking provides more energy
  8. Positive thinking holds the key to a successful life
  9. Positive thinking attracts positive events
  10. Positive thinking promotes a happier life.

These are not all. ‘Living Today Now – the power of positive thinking’ continues to explain how to take control of one’s life and how to develop resiliency and a fighting spirit.

To get hold of this book, may contact the following numbers and tell them I sent you. You might get a discount.

+233-244-868-479

 +233-208-532-889

TV Series Ruin Fascinating Stories

TV Series Ruin Fascinating Stories

By fiifi Dzansi


Tv series are made to run longer than movies and keep viewers at the edge of their seats.
What makes these visual creations a success is mostly suspense.

There’s always something delightful to look forward to.

I usually don’t get past the first season.
I feel the juice dries out by the end of season one.

As writers try to build on a story when it must end, the plot keeps twisting and turning and characters shillyshallying like clueless tourists not knowing where to go next.

Usually, viewers, after watching a tv series that losses integrity, feel robbed of their time.

Eventually, when a story ends, we know it. Giving it another life makes matters worse.

Keep the plot intense and conclude when viewers ask for more.