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SUSBSTANCE ABUSE- MR.KASISE RICKY PEPRAH (NYAABA)

Most of my fellow sufferers are either too involved with our disease, to be invited or, if even invited, to bother to accept your invitation. The rest are dead. Those in-between are too weakened to offer anything useful on this occasion. Since my breed is rare, survivors I mean, I crave your indulgence to spare a few minutes for my account of my personal knowledge of these all- too-real tragic phenomena that are laying to waste too many brilliant and talented people.

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I am duty bound to be here, for there is none other I know who can give a first-hand, intimate and personal account of alcoholism, drug abuse and irresponsible youth life.

Most of my fellow sufferers are either too involved with our disease, to be invited or, if even invited, to bother to accept your invitation. The rest are dead. Those in-between are too weakened to offer anything useful on this occasion. Since my breed is rare, survivors I mean, I crave your indulgence to spare a few minutes for my account of my personal knowledge of these all- too-real tragic phenomena that are laying to waste too many brilliant and talented people.

In my experience, I find that dictionaries almost never offer the definitions you need when you need them. Last night was no exception as I tried to no avail to find the definitions of “alcoholism”, of “drug abuse” or of “irresponsible youth life”. I have therefore elected to provide working definitions for the three phenomena. For our purpose today, I dare to define “alcoholism” as “the continuous excessive use of and consequent dependence on alcohol, to the extent that it alters behavior, warps reality and endangers one’s life and/or that of others”. “Drug abuse, I plead to define as “the continuous and persistent misuse and use of medication and drugs, prescription and illicit, to induce temporary euphoric effects (a high), which use subsequently has to be maintained or increased, over time, in order to attain said hallucinatory effects” Finally, let us agree to define “irresponsible youth life” as “any behavior that is inconsistent with social mores and expectation”. Ladies and gentlemen, if no one is begrudging my operational definitions shall I then quickly move on to attempt to discuss their causes. Like many phenomena, the causes are many, diverse and varied.

“Alcoholism may be caused by peer pressure, acquiesced-to by apparent social acceptability or indifference and may be ignited by a misguided but widely held belief that it provides relief albeit temporary from nagging problems. There is also no accounting for the role of pure and naked puerile and youthful adventurism, normally starting with casual and occasional drinking euphemized as ‘social drinking’ and finally leading into full-fledged alcoholism. Same can be said of drug abuse. It starts as just a try, then another and soon turns into a craving and finally dependence, maybe not in that order.

Irresponsible youth life can be caused by any of the aforementioned or by pure truancy or delinquency. It may also emanate from maladjustment, personality disorder or simple rebellion. However, let it be said that some people are misfits, maybe even genetically programmed miscreants, plain and simple.

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to state categorically that I have received NO formal education in these matters. I am neither a psychiatrist nor clinical psychologist. I am not a sociologist and definitely not an anthropologist. I am simply a recovering alcoholic, literate enough and sufficiently desperate to read the available literature. Since I am also lucky to still have a fair amount of my brain intact and recovering, I have, on occasion, consciously and otherwise engaged in analytical thought of these issues. Personally, I have been guilty, not of one or two but of all three of the cankers that we are attempting to understand today.

Ladies and gentlemen, the effects of these three maladies are plenty and varied BUT all unanimously negative. Their effect, negative of course, go from threats to your profession and professionalism, impediments to your smooth study, trouble in family life and marriage and finally causes extensive ill health. Be warned that when one of the three makes an entry into your life, progress walks out of your life. One comes in and your sanity is threatened, One comes in and your studies, job or profession is in jeopardy. Their beginning in your life is the end of everything good in it. What then is the way forward? I have said on other occasions and repeat here today that the best way to prevent alcoholism, drug abuse and the resultant irresponsible youth life is NOT to even start trying out with these substances.

DO NOT BEGIN IF YOU HAVEN’T YET.

STOP IF YOU HAVE BEGUN.

And SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP IF YOU CAN NOT STOP.

I want to end with the words of LEO BUSCAGLIA; ’your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God’ THANK YOU.

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Business

#OnTourWithAwedana : Rocks of Fear – Pikworo Slave Camp (Paga, Ghana)

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The sight and the overall experience of Pikworo Slave Camp take away all doubts about the veracity and reality of the slave trade in Africa. The presence of empirical evidence in the form of relics is enough to disabuse all doubting minds. Perhaps the cliché, “seeing is believing” should be the emphasis here. 

Pikworo Slave Camp is geographically situated approximately 3 KM West of Paga in the Upper East region of Ghana.  It’s located in a village called ‘Nania’. The camp is one of the few tourist sites in Africa with remarkable routes of historic relevance and is known in history as the hoarding, auctioning, and transmission point of slaves. It acted as a transit camp for the slave trade. Slaves were held hostage in the Pikworo slave camp before being transferred to Salaga in the Northern Region. In short, it acted as an intermediary between slave traders.

Legend has it that, the Pikworo Slave Camp was founded by a brave hunter and farmer. The village (Nania) was then developed into a trading center for the Hausa, Mossi, and Zambrama traders where their exchange activities took place.

The story of the slave trade sound is really gory sometimes. However, coming face to face with the facts of history gives a refreshing feeling of how far we have come as humans in our very existence. It’s sometimes incomprehensible and shocking how the purpose of a fully-fleshed human being could be altered and converted to the extent of being a slave. But the evidence available is more factual than fiction.

Centuries back, the slave trade was a very lucrative business activity and because of its dominant nature, it enriched slave masters and other people of higher ranks in the slave market. Nania became the first stopover and an auction market for slaves captured in surrounding lands as well as those brought from the Sahara. It was situated in a very rocky area hence the name ‘Pikworo’ which means ‘rocks of fear’. The rocky nature of the place largely defined the living conditions of the slaves in the camp. 

Life in the camp could best be described as rude and crude. Unlike the luxuries we enjoy today, slaves captured and sent to Nania had to be tied against trees and rocks to sleep. They ground cereals on rocks. They prepared food on rocks. They ate from holes created on rocks and drank from a nondrying opening in rocks.

They walked barefooted and experienced inhuman treatments as penalties for wrongdoing or non-compliance with directives. For instance, there was a site of the camp dedicated to punishing slaves where they were tied to a rock and made to watch the sun.
Dead slaves were buried in groups in a single hole dug around the camp and covered with a medium-sized rock placed on top of the grave as an epitaph to indicate the site as a burial ground for the dead. 

One interesting aspect about the stopover of slaves at Nania was that, despite the harsh conditions they faced, slaves had the chance of producing music with stones used to hit the rocks in a rhythmic manner, creating a pleasant sound with some of the slaves dancing to the tune. In all it won’t be wrong to say slaves in Pikworo slave camp lived “rocky” lives since almost every aspect of their lives was hinged on rocks.

Visiting the slave camp gives a lot of flashbacks and touching memories to behold-Memories that indicate the actual toil of our forefathers and some of the circumstances they faced and memories that give you insights towards making the world a better place. Until you visit the ‘Pikworo’ slave camp, you’ll always be tempted to liken the storylines of “12 years a slave” to “Tom and Jerry”.The former is a real-life issue and the latter is fiction. Don’t dwell in doubts for the rest of your life. Spare a moment, explore and reconnect with the past: it’s a priceless experience.
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Story by: Bobi Awedana Herty/thesavannaonline

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Politics

ADAGA OO! ADAGA!!!

When on my bike on bright days like this, just don’t cross my path, lest I run you down.

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Adaga
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The sun was meters past the horizon as the day was still toddling but showed good signs of being a very sunny one. A long winding queue snaked its way from the waakye seller’s joint to the edge of the street. The Koko seller across the street had also been swallowed by the crowd of school children that had circled her, screaming on top of their voices to get her attention.

I hated to join long winding queues just to buy a widow’s mite worth of food. Gliding on the back of my not-too-new bicycle, I made a quick U-turn and headed for “makpor” the beans seller’s end. The path leading to the “makpor” was a steep one and required a great deal of experience and a touch of perfect riding skills like mine to go unharmed.

Dexterously using my weight to bring the bike to the middle lane of the busy street, I zoomed past two “trotros” (commercial buses), which were moving at tortoise pace. The wind tore at my ears as I sped on and I loved the flapping sound its impact made in my ears.

When on my bike on bright days like this, just don’t cross my path, lest I run you down.

I was soon at “makpor” and thank goodness, the usual crowd there was absent. I decided to make a quick U-turn and come to perform the “sacred ritual” in the holy sanctuary- “Makpor”

Gracefully, I brought the right paddle to accelerating position, at the same time swinging the steering and adding my weight, the style was called “Cee”, it usually turned the bike 180 degrees and would leave the screeching marks of the rear tyre on the bare floor almost like the letter “C”

The rear tyre spun so fast I lost control and was thrown out of the bike. I found myself sprawled awkwardly on the floor.

A group of children who had witnessed the mighty “humpty-dumpty” fall wouldn’t stifle their laughter. Baring their teeth, they screamed laughter out of the bellies.

Wanting to show them my worth and dexterity with the bicycle I jumped onto the bike again. Holding the steer firmly I paddled swiftly and exerted lifting force to the steer and soon the front tire was up in the air-“Adagga” I maintained the posture for about 7seconds, still trying to impress my little audience, I dropped the front tire and repeated the process, this time I lifted it even higher than before.

The force was too much and the back tyre skidded off and down I went again. I hit my head hard against the bare tarred floor and everything spun before my eyes.

There was an explosive barrage of laughter louder than the June 3 thunder clapping. I lay there wishing I could just disappear into thin air or just sink into the dusty earth.

I lay there with my eyes closed for a very long time and all I could hear was continuous explosive laughter and rhetorical questions.

And that is how come I earned my infamous nickname, “Adaga”

By:  Edwin Abanga

Contact:    [email protected]

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Politics

Africa Cry – Quata dares African leaders to act in Libya slavery.

This has informed the release of “Africa Cry”, a song that details the canker of slavery currently booming in Libya. The slave markets in Libya are selling Black Africans for as low as $400.

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2017 has been a good year for Quata Budukusu, the magnum opus nature of his numerous releases attests to only one thing – SUPREMACY.  Even though his relevance in the game continues to be a matter of controversy, his talent and skill cannot be debated. Having been around since 2004 as a rapper, Quata has perfected his art by dabbling in numerous genres often with a finesse that can only come from a dedication to duty. His forte still remains rap, though he jumps on any genre and owns it.

On the subject of duty, Quata believes music can be used in several ways, from entertainment to education. This has informed the release of “Africa Cry”, a song that details the canker of slavery currently booming in Libya. The slave markets in Libya are selling Black Africans for as low as $400. A situation described by the UN Security Council as “heinous abuses of human rights.”

The situation has been condemned by many, and as a rapper with a conscience it is only proper Quata adds his voice.

The emotion-laden song brings to the fore issues of rape & torture, racism, intra-racial crimes, classism, and the seeming silence of African leaders when ordinary Africans are served anguish in foreign lands as slaves. The “animosity” is “unimaginable”, he says, but the reactions of the West in such situations clearly expose the weakness of African leaders.

Quata is undoubtedly one of the most prolific lyricists of our time. His upcoming 25-track album from a single riddim will definitely send tails wagging. An objective media is the only way major talents like Quata will get their due, until then the talent won’t rest. Will it match the ingenuity employed in the 13-Track “Quantum Riddim”?

2018 is will surely be a magical musical year.

Check out other songs by Quata.

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