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KalashniBlog

Before moving to permanently settle at Odumase and Somanya, the ancient Krobos lived in the beautiful outcrops called Klowem, located just near the Akuse junction on the Akosombo Road. Every avid hiker, mountaineer or trekker worth his rank under the professional OAG knows the Klowem outcrops. The moderately challenging 10km diameter wilderness has steep trails, grassy passes, rocky valleys and half-wild cattle to provide the background to wonderful adventures, and the occasional cow chase.

I discovered Klowem while searching for abseilable cliffs in the area. In the first iteration of our search, my team and I were assisted by Kloma Gbi, leaders of Krobo Youth in the traditional area. These youths wanted nothing more than to see all Krobos united for development. And the sacred Klowem was a visible symbol of that sought-after development. My team would move off from that first search to organize over a hundred adventures to the site.

One of the chiefs slapped us with a calico, a couple of rams and the bones of a dead five-year old antelope plus Five Thousand Ghana Cedis in fines when they discovered we had been making money running adventures on the hills behind their backs. They claimed we needed to have performed some rites before venturing to explore the hills. At any point, the gods could have been offended and visited calamity on my clients and I, and potentially on the whole of Krobodom.

I don’t know if they knew then that the Yilo House, the twin paramountcy of the Krobo, had stationed a half-drunk farmer on the other side of the hills, and the dude was extorting 10 Cedis (30 Cedis if one was White) from anyone that would hike the hills.

I refused to visit the palace while the fines hung over our heads but continued to hike the hills, not unaware of the potential conflict that would erupt should we run into any Krobos, but using my knowledge of the hills to outwit any searchers. Eventually, the palace found out from Facebook that we were happily exploring the hills still. The chief himself called to offer a way out. Five Thousand became 500, and I could forget the rams, the calico and the antelope archeology.

I agreed.

On the day after I handed over the cash, I took another hike through the hills. The week before had been the Ngmayem Festival, and every true Krobo had gone to hike Klowem to pay homage to the ancestors. Plastic littered every rock, leaf and shrub. The greenery of Klowem had been violated by the indigenes, and empty water sachets, kasapreko gin tots, and ice cream wrappers desecrated the entire outcrop.

When the chief answered my phone call, my words were, “Your gods must be crazy if they find my adventures to Klowem offensive, but found no offense with the plastic littering and other environmental violations of your people. Your gods must be insane if they could threaten to punish me, who only leave boot prints, but do not punish you who have left these desecrations.”

Sadly, the litter remained from October of that year through the harmattan, where they remained a true eyesore when all the vegetation withered, until the rains of the next year. Running water, mud and new grass covered the shame of the Krobo People. I would not have paid the 500 Cedis if I had seen the mess before agreeing with the chief, and I said as much to him.

It wasn’t any love of the environment, or of the gods, that inspired the demand for money to explore what is really nothing more than an open wilderness. I absolutely do not begrudge any local authority or traditional ruler who tries to monetize natural or environmental resources; especially of the sustainable variety. But I take extreme exception to the extortion that is the stock-in-trade of most traditional authority in Ghana when an idea presents itself. No thought is given to business plans, or environmental impact assessments. Immediately, their default position is to slap fees in the names of gods as devoid of powers as my breath is devoid of the miasma of alcohol. Of course the money and the drinks or rams end up lining their pockets and pockets alone. Not a single indigene benefits from such extortion. As it turned out later, the whole area is Government of Ghana property due to the abundance of the mineral wealth of rocks for quarrying purposes. There are more than 10 active quarries in the area as we speak. And there are no angry gods either; just relics of ancient idolatry that employs the fear of unknown spiritual consequences to keep chieftaincy elites in power.

We had similar experiences in the Akwamu Traditional Area. The Trident shares a wall with the Akwamu Forest, otherwise known as Akwamu Pow. The Okumahene of the area had already sold this same land to my Landlord knowing full well it abutted their sacred grove but as soon as my team and I laid the foundational blocks for the facility, he and his chiefs came screaming themselves hoarse that certain purification rights needed to be done to ensure the safety of our operations around the grove and on the Volta River. The demand was for Twenty-thousand Ghana Cedis, plus two ram, and cartons of foreign and local gin. Never mind that while it wasn’t really needed, we had spent a lot of money building a 450-foot wall to keep their gods away from our side of the demarcation. When I asked why I would, in my right mind part with such an amount, they claimed that the gods could send crocodiles, water vipers and big waves to create unpleasantness for us and for our clients.

The anaemia in this kind of thinking was beyond me. Ghanaian ancestors and gods were not like the ancestors and gods of other lands. They send calamities and plagues. Not good will and prosperity and the brains others use to make planes and submarines. To say I treated the requests with contempt is an understatement. Six months later, the demand came down to 12-Thousand Cedis and I was still pissed off. Eventually, my Board stepped in and provided to their demands.

I returned from an adventure one morning and there they all were, wearing “collars” like we did when we were children in a village that had no electricity – a full-bodied cloth that is worn tied up around the neck. There were chiefs of big influence, and there was a drummer, and they came to the border with the forest to invoke the gods and ask for their blessings and avert their displeasure. They presented with one ram (my Board had provided 2), and they scattered mere fatty parts of the slain ram across the water. As they made off with the rest of the ram (99% of the meat) Derick, one of my Rangers ran after them and divested the sacrifice of one meaty thigh.

That evening, when Derick presented me with a bowl of ram soup, I declined. I don’t eat meat sacrificed to idols, I said. Especially these ones that are devoid of anything resembling progress and advancement.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Ghanaian culture, but I have spent 23 years of my life living in nature and in the wild. There’s nothing here that is maliciously benign about forests, rivers, stones, trees and animals, other than the selfish heart of man. And living out here, I expect there will be more of such conflicts between me and traditional rulers over customs outmoded, and rites that don’t make sense, never mind that the only reason they hold on to these customs is to employ fear as a currency to line their pockets.

And to each new request, my answer remains: the Gods must be crazy!

1

TattleBlog
Hi there! My name is JayJay D. Segbefia and I am probably the newest author of Fiction & Fantasy in Ghana. I just took stock of another 50 copies of my book Executive Hallucination. I am a quiet and shy jungle boy, and not much into book launches and PR. But I am happy to have a copy of my book delivered to you wherever you are. I can autograph it too, if you want. My book tells the story of a greenhorn neurosurgeon, Dr. Alexander J. Cattrall, who wants no part in a fracas between Ghana’s National Security Agency and a hallucinatory Chief of Staff who believes he is President. But Cattrall takes extraordinary exception to the abduction of his twin sister whom he had previously fought his way through Liberia’s civil war to rescue, after their Dad had sold her to a seafarer. Such foolhardiness was what Ghana needed to save its democratic reputation but Cattrall doesn’t give a hoot. He will save Sandra again and he doesn’t care that the one who has her believes he is President of Ghana. A copy sells for 175-GHS + 20-GHS for delivery if you’re in Accra and Tema, and 175-GHS + 25-GHS for delivery if you’re outside of Accra. Kindly WhatsApp 0548424903 for your copy. Delivery occurs within 24 hours of purchase. The Kindle Edition costs only $9.99 Thank you, and Happy Reading!
4

OutdoorBlog
The six-day assault of Kilimanjaro via the Macheme route was a walk in the park for me. This was my 16th assault of Africa’s highest mountain, and I had, between 2001 and 2009, survived the other more grueling routes under all kinds of murderous weather conditions. Macheme was easy peasy lemon squeezy. That last part was only in my head, of course. No mountaineer with his head screwed to his neck at the right angle will disrespect a mountain prior to reaching its summit. It’s a little like telling the crocodile while you’re crossing the deep river on his back that his warty snout is particularly unattractive. You can be sure of this: not only would you not reach the other bank; you’d be croc dinner too! This is not to lend any credence to the ridiculous superstitions making the rounds about some mountains in Africa. BraveHearts Expeditions and I had to deal with one such unfounded superstition when in 2015 we launched the first abseiling assault on the face of Mount Odweanoma in Kwahu. We were told the mountain was the face of some god, and that setting foot on its face (which we would with abseiling) would be sacrilegious. We abseiled, of course. The gods haven’t shown any interest in us yet. Still, no experienced mountaineer disrespects a mountain. In the case of Kilimanjaro, approximately 1-thousand people are evacuated each year, and some 10 deaths occur annually, mainly due to altitude sickness. You don’t want to be trekking up Kilimanjaro in miniskirt and high heels, wearing attitude and throwing shades at the 4,359-year-old mountain when acute mountain sickness, hypothermia, rock fall and avalanches, colds and respiratory infections contribute to stopping hundreds of people from reaching the summit each season. But in West Africa, the killer-humidity on the Akwapim-Togo-Buem highlands is so energy-sapping that hiking alpine mountains are such cool endeavours. And it is with this backdrop that I consider an assault of Kilimanjaro as a walk in the park. Except for the bone-calcifying cold at night, of course. Anyway, so here I was on the fourth day of my 13-man assault of Kilimanjaro. So far, I had escaped the exhaustion some on my team were experiencing, the altitude sickness and constant vomiting of a sweet other, the farting and anti-bath mountaineering policy of yet another team-mate and the I-never-poop-on-mountain-adventures plan of still another. To be sure, I was the envy of everyone else. Then came summit night at Barafu camp. I had been feeling increasingly feverish the night prior. I knew the symptoms of malaria so much that there was no doubt in my mind that the nightmare I had on Night 2 was an indication of how much running around those annoying plasmodium parasites were doing in my blood. I had the right medication – that oh-so-awful combination of artemether and lumefantrine. Knowing what hell a malaria-free mountaineer experiences in summiting Uhuru, I felt it was necessary to start the dosage early. So I popped the first tablets at lunchtime in the hope that the second tabs by midnight might reduce the symptoms of the malaria and make the final assault easy peasy as well. Midnight came and Patty, our head porter, woke me up in my tent and offered a bowl of hot water to thaw my thick, frozen fingers. Breakfast consisted of hot chocolate drink and some biscuits (I have since vowed to take a mixture of gari, sugar and groundnuts on all future assaults), and I washed the medication down with breakfast. Then the midnight trek to Stellar Point began. From Barafu (altitude 4,645m) we hauled our backsides through the icy night with nothing to guide our vision except the stars and our headlights. We reached Stellar Point (altitude 5,739 m) at sunrise at enormous personal effort. I could barely put a foot after another. I was far worse for wear than my team-mates who had thrown up every step of the steep, scree-filled slopes. The enormously high altitude of Kilimanjaro had increased the number of my red blood cells. This was my body’s way of dealing with the increasingly thin oxygen amounts in my blood. Consequently, the amount of the malaria medication that attached to each cell increased, reducing the amount of free drugs in my plasma and lessening the effectiveness of the medication. My theory is supported by this University of Cincinnati research. “In high altitudes, our bodies produce more red blood cells,” says Prof. Wolfgang Ritschel. “Research on the body’s reaction to medication is generally done on subjects who live at sea level, and these results are extrapolated to people at high altitudes. This study suggests that a dosage’s clinical effectiveness should also be tested on people in high altitudes” before assuming effectiveness in high altitude terrains. My assumption that malarial medication would help was proven to be unfounded. Not only did it not help, it induced sluggishness, extreme sleepiness, overwhelming exhaustion, dizzying headache and an overpowering desire to return to my Mama. It was a wonder I made it to both Stellar Point and Uhuru Peak (altitude 5,895m). As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t have made it without the help of my team mates in the Mountain Goats Clan, the Russian-blooded Sergei, the German Daniel and his beautiful wife Christina. After we made it to Uhuru, Christina and I (probably the ones who suffered the most on the assault) made it back to Barafu in record-breaking time. Our bodies screamed for sub-peak oxygen and enabled us to literally ski off the summit, but that story is for another day. My point: high altitudes and anti-malarial medication do not mix. Do check your blood plasmodium levels before you assault Kilimanjaro. Your house people might not help you the way mine did. Yoo.
0

TattleBlog
Author: JayJay D. Segbefia Accra, Ghana 3 decades and counting… and I still hadn’t figured out how exactly menstrual pain felt. Which isn’t surprising. I am a man, after all. Still, every time I saw a member of the fairer sapiens writhing on the floor, all covered in grimaces that spoke little to the real pain they felt in those crampy moments, I tried to imagine how it would all really feel if I traded places. True, I empathized and sympathized with those I knew had such issues. But can you imagine how terrible it would seem to say to a woman in the throes of menstrual pain, “I know how you feel”, or “I share in your pain”? That, of course, would be ludicrous. Talk about taking sympathy to modin sane levels. But I wondered. And wondered again. What will the experience be like for me if I suffered pain similar to menstrual cramps, at least for a day? After all, what was the point of empathy if it failed to generate a sense of knowing the experience of another person in ways that harnessed all cognitive, affective and behavioural resources to the benefit of the sufferer? Let me break the grammar down. How can I empathize with a victim of dysmenorrhea as if I myself was sharing in their pain? You can’t silly! You’re a man, my inner voice said. He was right of course. Few studies have directly examined empathy for pain. The best materials on the subject suggest that observing somebody in pain activates similar neurons as if the observer was experiencing similar pain himself. But that has been debunked by other research that observe that only the affective and not the sensory components of the pain network are activated when we observe a person we care about in pain. In short, my face can imitate the grimace from the pain a girlfriend is experiencing from menstrual cramps and even imitate the distress that accompanies the nerve-wracking experience, but there’s absolutely no way to actually induce the throbbing pain in the abdomen (unless I asked someone to kick me in the family jewels), or induce the headaches, dizziness and nausea. No sir. So I had to accept the maxim that no pain could be compared to cramps, and that only women could bear or tolerate the pain. If that lot fell to men, women were pretty sure we’d be a crap-faced, pathetic bunch indeed come the end or so of each menstrual month. And I believed them. Until recently. I can now say, on authority, that men know exactly how menstrual cramps feel like. Even better, we are capable, and have done so on more occasions than we can count, of bearing infinitely more pain than our female counterparts. Ours trumps dysmenorrhea any day. Here’s why I say so: I like to laze about a lot on Sundays. I just chill. Other than the occasional stepping out to find me some nice waakye in the morning, I bring the wrath of a typhoon to bear on the head of anyone who forces me to leave home, TV and my dogs on Sundays. And, as befits Sunday morning relaxations, I walk around unrestrained. Y’all know what antipe is, right? You don’t? Antipe is when a man walks around in shorts without first wearing underwear. And that’s perfectly alright at home, of course. Can’t be walking around town with one’s ding-dong dangling every-which-way, now, can we? So antipe is all good and well at home. Creates room for Sir John Thomas, also known us Long John Black or, even better, L. L Cool J, to take a breather, you know? And so here I was, this particular Sunday morning. It was eleven. I had just watched The Hitman’s Bodyguard and was laughing my head off at Samuel L. Jackson’s conversation with his wife when I decided I needed to use the bathroom. You know the drill for men. Unzip. Unpack. Flow. Shake. Shake some more. One more shake. Repack. Zip up. Pretty routine. Here’s why this morning’s was different. As I was performing the final part – the zipping up part – I must have zipped up too fast while L. L Cool J was only now settling away from the cloth of the zipper. I ended up zipping a whole inch of L. L Cool J skin in the zipper! What do you mean, “Did you scream”? Of course I screamed my head off! I yowled, howled, caterwauled, wailed, whined and screeched, in no particular order. Heck, I must have reached octaves in the throes of that excruciatingly painful ordeal. My dogs howled in return of course, but the skin stayed right where it was… zipped up together with my shorts. Ouch! See, anyone familiar with the male reproductive shaft knows that it’s all one muscular contraption. The skin covering it is the thinnest skin there is in the human anatomy – and the most sensitive. It stretches, of course, during blood engorgement, but that is what makes the experience dreadful. A whole inch of it was locked up in my zipper, and already the throbbing pain was giving me a splitting headache. Forget Tramadol. This pain was the stuff of high morphine dosages. Ouch! Or have I said that already? Double ouch then. Make that triple! And, as every man who has gone through this ordeal knows, those moments are most tender. You can never find a man at his tenderest any other time, I’m teling you. I locked my knees like a robot. Any movement was going to end up tearing skin, and that, my friends, would be pure, unadulterated, PAIN! Agyaaeee! So I locked my knees and begun the most tender process ever enjoined by a man of unzipping and setting my inflaming member free. Passing a zipper over the skin of a penis hurts like hell. That has been established herewith. Now, imagine passing the zipper back down the same inflamed skin. Maame eeee! But a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. My breath came to me erratically. My knees were shaking, and sweat had broken on my brow. My hands shivered as I set out to perform the unimaginably painful operation of excising my penile skin from my zipper. Slowly I moved the zipper back down. Each interlocking teeth pinched me some even as I slowly worked it down. The whole world knows that the average zipper bears ten pairs of teeth per inch. That’s 20 teeth over my most sensitive skin! Awoooooo! I screamed as the zipper pinched, and pinched and pinched. By the time I was done, I was so sore I couldn’t even allow air to pass over the skin without screaming the entire neighbourhood down. I forgot to turn off my living room fan, and when a gust hit me and my nakedness when I returned from the bathroom (I had discarded the shorts, of course), I almost passed out. I didn’t wear “dross” for a week after the incident. And even afterwards, I wore only soft cotton boxers. The memory of the pain, however, lasted three months. Even now, as we speak, I have checked to be sure that my zipper is in no danger of mistaking my flesh for a cloth. And this, my friends, is the ordeal that trumps menstrual cramps any day. Dear women, please take a bow on this. Menstrual cramps has nothing, and I mean NOTHING on zipped penile skin. I get nightmares just remembering that one-time incident. And cold sweat too.
4

HolyBlog
You’re right. I am definitely a what-iffer. Life would be intrinsically more boring for me if I wasn’t. Being a what-iffer doesn’t mean that I am exactly insane but, all the same, let’s agree I am a what-iffer. Some of my what-iffs are productive. Examples: What if Ghana had the longest zip line across the largest man-made lake? What if free SHS was possible? What if the ecstatic, unintelligible gibberish of today’s churches wasn’t the tongues of the Bible? What if I could change Ghanaian culture in favour of outdoor adventure activities? What if Sunday worship was the Mark of the Beast? What if America was truly racist? What if I could reconnect with my first love in ways that could build the best friendship I had ever wanted? These what-ifs are productive in the sense that they cause me to bend my mental, physical, intellectual and financial resources to seeing some happen, discovering many to be true, lambasting false Christian theories and building better relationships. Then there are the totally useless what-iffs; the ones I call modin-Sane: What if, instead of having an abortion it was possible to extract an embryo alive from the womb of a woman who didn’t want it, and move it into a lab that could sustain it to babyhood for nine months? What if we could have shitholian African Parliamentarians taken out and shot? What if Ghana could launch a real space ship into orbit (I knew I shouldn’t have eaten too much pepper the night I had this what-if)? What if we could rid Africa of corrupt leaders by May 26, 2018? As you can see, not all what-ifs are positively whatifiable. So, when I what-iffed the possibility of a non-existing God, I immediately filed it under modin-Sane. But the thought wouldn’t be so easily discarded. My mind actually thought it would benefit from considering the possibility that there was no God. This had come about because many unbelieving friends of mine had that week put up spirited denunciations and ridiculed the concept of the existence of God. I faced them fair and square of course (no one I know of has ever accused me of running away from an intellectual fight), and floored the archeologists and humanists among them (let’s hope they don’t read this and write rejoinders ;-)). So I gathered my puny human intellect, picked up a glass of aluguntugun juice, sat on a camp chair on an island in the Akwamu Gorge one evening, raised my eyes to the starry skies and bent the forces of my mind to contemplate the possibility that God did not exist. Before this exercise, I had availed myself of all the still-unrefuted scientific evidence that had been discovered and widely published in some of the world’s leading science journals. Some of them had for 40 years supported the Genesis Creation record that God made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. By embarking on this what-iffer, I was essentially about to suspend what I had believed for 35+ years and consider alternatives. Make no mistake. The only way to declare that God does not exist is to attack the first book of the Bible – Genesis. But since Genesis had done me no wrong (I like Moses actually. His meekness is one I aspire to, just as soon as I get rid of my Kalashnikov), I could not bring it up in my what-iffing. If a person is willing to consider that there is no God, that person has no business bringing a book of God into his or her enterprise. If God does not exist, then Genesis does not exist. Therefore, I had to turn to something that wasn’t godly – the big bang theory of relativistic cosmology – earlier deduced by an “army of data” to have occurred 5.5 billion years ago and was later amended to some 13.8 billion years. The theory essentially claimed the universe as we know it started with a small singularity, then inflated (bang!) over the next 13.8 billion years to the cosmos that we know today. What commends the big bang theory to itself is its reliance on what seems to be overwhelming experimental evidence for an ancient age of the earth and its unquestionable laws of radioactive decay, also called radiometric dating. Christians claim that God created the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything else that exists. They cite the Bible as the source, and the basis, of that belief. If one wants to refute that, then one has to refute the Bible’s authenticity, and as the world knows, there is no end to the relentless pursuits on a daily basis to discredit the Bible. But for the Christian, there really isn’t much work to do to prove anything beyond what the Bible has said. God created the heavens and the earth. Enough said. Since Science claimed to be above faith and the Bible, I began to ponder whether Science had any real evidence from among the “overwhelming scientific data” for the claim that the earth had banged itself into existence over billions of years. What physical element, substance or property was scientifically credited to be the evidence of the big bang? I was informed by the documentation I assessed that pleochroic halos were deemed to be the phenomenon, which supposedly established the constancy of the decay rate of radioactive matter over geologic time, and threw out the ananse story of a God who had power to create. If there were no God, then the scientific evidence should support no claim of a fast-solidifying foundation of granite rock – known as Precambrian rock. Science holds that these rocks were formed (excruciatingly) slowly as molten magma cooled down. The Bible holds that these rocks were formed instantly in one day when the Spirit of God moved over a formless earth and caused the dry land to appear from nothing. These pleochroic halos are apparently formed by radioactivity in various rocks and are most easily observed in mica under a microscope. Uranium forms the rings of a certain type of one of these halos, which is the key for scientists as to whether the rate of decay was constant. But uranium is not the only element that forms these halos. Polonium does that too but, unlike uranium, polonium has only a fleeting existence, leading scientists to only credit uranium with the production of the halos. As a what-iffer my interest, while sipping my aluguntugun juice, and trying to make sense of tons of scientific gobbledygook, was knowing when the Earth was formed. If the evidence proved that it took billions of years, God would cease to exist in my eyes because a God of truth would not have us believe that it took Him six days only to create the heavens and the earth when it took Him billions of years. But if science could not prove when the earth banged into existence, then it simply would become charlatan and false, and God would be true. Essentially in big bang cosmology, all of Earth’s chemical elements formed hundreds of millions or billions of years before the time matter finally began to condense to form the proto-Earth as a molten ball of matter. Geologists generally believe that these are Precambrian rocks because they contain no fossils and have no evidence of life in them. These are the rocks that underlie the continents – the foundational rocks – and are the ones that contain the uranium and polonium halos. The evidence I studied, while the harmattan winds whipped Lake Volta into a frenzy, suggested that the polonium halos could not have emerged from uranium. Granite cooling from a molten state would have taken so long that there would have been, in the heat and all that turmoil, no traces whatsoever of polonium. In fact, polonium would have been incinerated in minutes. The answer to how polonium could have been around in the long time it would have taken the granite to cool was the answer to my musings. Basically, a speck of polonium in molten rock could be compared to a tablet of Andrews Liver Salt in a glass of water. The beginning of effervescence is equated to the moment that polonium atoms began to emit radioactive particles. In molten rock the traces of those radioactive particles would disappear as quickly as the Martin Liver Salt crystals in water. The only way the crystals would be preserved is if the water were instantly frozen. Polonium halos could only have formed if the rapidly “effervescing” specks of polonium had been instantly encased in solid rock. The truth, of course is this: there are immeasurably large number of polonium halos embedded in granites around the world. Just as frozen Martin Liver Salt crystals would be clear evidence of the quick-freezing of the water, these many polonium halos undeniably give evidence that a sea of primordial matter quickly “froze” into solid granite. The occurrence of these polonium halos, then, distinctly implies that our earth was formed in a very short time (in six days actually), and not over a long, drawn out period of billions of years. The most credible source of that information is the Bible, which speaks unimpressed with scientific gobbledygook about the foundation rocks, “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands” “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. … For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” (Hebrews 1:10; Psalm 102:25; Psalm 33:6,9). Before the alunguntugun juice ran out, my belief was strongly reaffirmed that God exists. He is. He was. And always will be. Scientists, not unexpectedly, believe the polonium-halo evidence for Creation is, at best, a tiny mystery, in spite of the fact that they haven’t been able to refute the evidence in close to 50 years. “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty” 1 Corinthians 1:27. Polonium halos may be insignificant in the discussions of a big bang theory, but they clearly offer a big challenge to the science of evolution and totally flaws the theory of the big bang, and until that challenge is proven beyond reasonable doubt, I believe in God! So, with that resolved, I bent what was left of my what-iffing over a long night to what social evidence we would see if there were no God. And I realized that people would have us believe God does not exist as a way of shaking off His moral restraints. Evidence abound that the increasing rise in divorce, fornication, licentiousness, homosexuality, vice and all the putrefying sins of the world is linked to the removal of God’s moral restraints. Other than His law, what else would make stealing another person’s wife abhorrent (unless you were the victim-husband)? Human laws have not been enough to curb society’s hurtful tendencies, and neither has the proliferation of churches in every available street corner of Accra where I live. It is God’s word and His law – not the false churches that create economic opportunity for themselves in His name, nor the false humanists who would have every allusion to God’s power and grace to save removed from all mention, nor the false scientists who move from their failure to ground the theory of evolution to declaring vile homosexuality a hereditary tendency over which its adherents have no control – that would make the world a better place. This jungle boy believes God through Christ will come soon to clean the mess we have made of His earth and restore us into His image and His original plan for all His created beings – joy, untold happiness, and the realization and achievement of our sanctified dreams and aspirations higher than our present senses of self-actualization.
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KalashniBlog
Author: JayJay D. Segbefia, NAV Accra, Ghana. Story photo from here. Sometimes I feel I am a total stranger in “this our country Ghana”. I spend three weeks of each month in the jungle so I tend to miss all the juicy nonsense that make the rounds in the news and on social media until the modin sane have gained full throttle. Usually, one of my more perverse WhatsApp platforms would have discussed the issues, tried and passed judgment long before I find out what’s been going on. Catching up on a thousand chats can lead to bipolar deficiencies, I tell you, and nothing can generate lengthier chats than discussions of a sex tape gone viral. Two particularly vile issues come to mind. The first concerns Abena Korkor, who came to some social media prominence when, while standing for election as president of the Students Representative Council (SRC) of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), she circulated her own nude videos. The shock and awe she was expecting from exposing her body in those nudies backfired though. Her electoral dreams were incinerated beyond salvageable ashes by that singularly unwise move. More recently, she has made the social media list of modin sane by alleging to have been involved in over a hundred infractions of engaging in sexual activity for a fee, with more than two score men, over a dozen of whom would qualify as Ghanaian celebrities. Screen shots of her clearly-mentally-deranged confessions took over Facebook and WhatsApp alone for a week. Then there was Afia Schwarzenegger, a media person with an acerbic tongue and TV shows full of sickening sexual innuendoes unfit for the consumption of any society with its head screwed on properly. Her nude videos were circulated over ten million times, in which she was seen engaging in lewd acts with an unidentified partner under the threat of an acid bath. When the video was shared on one WhatsApp platform I belonged to, I absolutely refused to download the aberration, to speak less of distributing it. I wanted no part whatsoever in the production and dissemination of stupidity. Many phones would engage that video, but mine, and the resources of my time, phone and data was sworn to have no share in the trafficking of that particularly vile sex tape. The summary descriptions of its content on various platforms and news media were enough to make me lose my breakfast on the prized Persian of my home floor. Whereas I may understand male perverts’ obsessions with sex tapes, nudity, and confessions of sexual exploits, I have a hard time understanding why females download sex tapes and sex scandals. Anyone with a teaspoon of moral brains in their heads know that the true victim of any leaked video of a fornicating duo is the woman. Why, then, were women on platforms the ones who more eagerly shared the videos and visited Abena Korkor’s wall looking for details of her many sexual partners? Surely, it wasn’t to find out if their husbands made the list, was it? Our obsession with these leaked sex tapes and nudies speaks to one thing, of course. We are a society of sexual perverts. Other than porno addicts, what in goodness name is the fun and gratification in watching two people fornicating? Or, even worse, wasting internet resources in sharing those? There is no maxim more laughable in Ghana than the tag that we’re a Christian nation. Apuu! To think that Peter, James and John would have viewed and shared a sex tape – and that we belong to the same stock of faith as they did – is a more dire mental illness symptom than any bipolar hypersexuality. Shame on you! I am here not going to get into the argument of Afia Schwar’s and Abena’s mental state (my personal diagnoses is they belong to an asylum), but to get into the mental state of a country that celebrates sexual scandals and allied stupidity. We have a bestial curiosity towards the mundane, the sickening, the sexually explicit and the morbidly sheepish. That is the reason we share nude videos and share photos of the dead and dying. Can you believe we once even shared videos of toddlers attempting to have sex? That, my friends, is who we are. A veritable bunch of perverts. Don’t let the tongues and church prayers fool anyone. One thing to note though. None of the intelligent WhatsApp groups I belong shared the videos or talked about them. None. And I’m not here talking about Church platforms where to post one would have been to incur the scathing holier-than-thou rebuke of Sister Michael and Brother Patience. I am talking here about platforms with men and women so professional and mentally acute that they feel it is an unforgiveable insult to waste the time of group members with such foolishness. Even after Abena had deleted her posts from off her Facebook wall, folks in the media and online apologies of news portals continued to feature her deleted posts as newsworthy. Sick! Let’s leave Afia and Abena well alone. There are no bigger, sicker perverts than us. Gross! BiPolar
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Dear Kwesi Kyei Darkwah, I am no fan of yours, but I have been meaning to write to you for a looong time. I am a very busy man, you see? I run a business that takes men and women of every imaginable shade, colour and creed, and I introduce them to life in the deepest recesses of the Ghanaian jungle. I push them to abseil off cliffs, hike through jungle swamps, kiss snakes, bike wildernesses and expand the boundaries of their minds. Oh, and I just got featured on Pulse TV. You can watch me running my jungle mouth a little bit right here. I trained as a journalist, you see, so you and I may have had a lot in common until your you-know-what. I’m getting all this out of the way so you’ll understand why I am appropriating to myself the unfounded arrogance of thinking I can address you. You on the other hand used to be the household name for oratory excellence and entertainment television. I remember you in your multi-coloured hues on TV (at the time – and even now – I thought you were overly fond of mismatched clothing) introducing Miss Ghana contestants every girl dreamt to aspire to (I didn’t, even though I am no girl. I like my girls full and well-nourished, not skinny and emaciated like a bunch of chop sticks). I remember your confidence on stage, your smooth renditions, and how you could make the scrawniest contestant look like skinny-bones was the new face of Africa. Now that the horse-crap introductions are over, let’s cut to the chase. Do you seriously believe that “big men” in this country really wanted to do you in, and tarnish your image, as you reportedly mentioned as the reason KOD begged you not to mention his name to do with the African Regent alleged rape saga? I read the story of the interview you granted to Deloris Frimpong Manso, and watched the video on YouTube. You were on point in the Akan language, and looked classy in your comportment and use of proverbs, but your allegations of a big conspiracy leaves a foul stench in my nostrils. If such a conspiracy truly existed, you should be in jail since such “big men” could have had the wherewithal to ensure your incarceration based on the facts of the case. But first off, if Ewuraffe Orleans Thompson was my sister (or a fifth cousin several times removed for that matter) I am pretty certain, the Constitution one day permitting, I would be looking at your multi-coloured backside walking out of that courthouse from the crosshairs of a Kalashnikov. Don’t get me wrong. I am a sweet-natured, saner-than-most, highly intelligent jungle boy. I wouldn’t plead mental insanity after the fact. I’d have been looking into those crosshairs in the full might of my intellect and law, and depress the trigger. Here’s my beef: We all get to chase after women who will never want us in this lifetime or the next. We all get jilted by girls who we think should be easy picks but turn out to be as insurmountable as Uhuru Peak on Kilimanjaro (to this point, I am well ahead of you – I have kissed Uhuru). We all get dumped, scorned, rejected, belittled, disparaged and demeaned by girls all the time for no reason at all, in spite of our special status as men – why should the case be different in yours? Oh I know how it must feel like. We’ve all been there (except me. I find mountains infinitely more riveting). You go home with a girl after hitting all the right notes in your voice, saying all the right words and showing all the right glitz and crap. You waste a fortune (certainly not in your case) showering her with KFC (kenkey & fried chicken), expensive ice creams and other diabetes-inducing doohickeys just to create the mood (how much does a hotel suite cost koraa nowadays?), and then you advance when the time is right. As you get to kiss, exchanging all kinds of germs in that slobbering experience (never mind that hepatitis B is on the rise), she lets you have your way. You squeeze twin towers like a packet of Fan Yogo, say meaningless hogwash and do everything so the portals to home-sweet-home may be opened to your fumbling monkeyshines, while your breath wheezes like a rutting boar and your heart rate accelerates. Then, just when all looks set for that to happen which felled all the Great men of history – Solomon, David, Abraham and our own Bill Clinton – the lass remembers the counsel of her mother and admonitions of her father and declares firmly, “Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further.” Tsooo! It is a very demeaning turn of events, I tell you; especially if your ding-dong is all pink-tipped with anticipation and has done its most erect salute to date. You rise up, mortified beyond description and blush to the roots of your black skin with embarrassment, wear your tsakoto and rush off to the bathroom to ice your overzealous member and nurse the most loathsome of all humiliations. This is why you ain’t special in this sense, and this also is the way of all modern men – especially of the fornicating and adulterine kind. You win some, you lose some. But you didn’t want none of that (in my lafa voice). You felt you were more special than the rest of us – that the great KKD’s sexual desires could not be denied, much less by a 19-year old girl without enough sense to not have been out with the likes of you at that time of day to begin with. And so you raped her. Viciously. Allegedly. Afterwards you gave her an after-pill, so she wouldn’t mother your bastard and sock you with child support later on. This is what you are. A teenage-raping scum (must I say “allegedly” again? I never quite get the legalese right). And this is what the facts of the case as presented by the prosecution are. There were doctors’ reports to substantiate these allegations – and your Gog-and-Magog courthouse costumes notwithstanding – we the people of John Q. Ghanaian Public find the facts to be more consistent with Effe’s accounts than we did your statement to the Airport Police (which read to me like the down and dirty account of sex from an amateur erotic short stories website). Giving these facts, I doubt any civilized public prosecutor’s office would have let you go scot-free. There’s absolutely no way you would have walked in London, Tokyo, Paris or Washington D.C pulling crap like that. I have my own theories as to why Effe did not afterwards come forward to help jail your obsequious backside. Either ways, as public prosecutor or brother, you would not be walking out of that courthouse a free man. But this is all history. A lot of people think (and you certainly are one of those people) that people like me come after you because of schadenfreude. You will have to make me the exception – I don’t give a rat’s posterior about Ghana’s entertainment industry (I find it infantile and boorish), and I think all the press about our so-called celebrities is all a whiff of codswallop. But what has gotten me all irritated with you today? I watched your interview on the Delay Show, and your points are inconsistent with the facts of the case as reported to the Courts, but it serves your purposes to assume we all wash our faces upwards. Your attempts to use the silence of the alleged victim to your advantage doesn’t make your actions any less vile – especially the blasé attempt to show that your brand as an iconic figure in the entertainment industry has not been tarnished by your alleged rape case. You would certainly hope so, wouldn’t you? I am here to help you wake up. That case has messed your brand up in ways you cannot even remotely begin to understand, and the fact that you don’t understand speaks to the depth of depravity your brand has sunk. It is one thing to lose your gold of excellence to this totally preventable foolishness of raping a teenager (allegedly, darn it), but it is another to delude yourself that the brass that your brand has sunk to is still gold. That is delusion, my friend, and it not only insults the intelligence of the more discerning segments of Ghanaian society; it insults the experience of innocent victims of alleged sexual abuse like Effe, and well-nigh guarantees that the next teenage-raping scum would be remorseless and emboldened in their foolishness like you are (alleged, of course). Let me help you face it in these words, and I am not afraid to speak truth to power (and alleged teenage-raping scum, too): You are not KKD. KKD is someone you used to be. Here’s my free advice until I discover Effe is my sister (I have family-tree experts working on that): Forget the darn brand, get a better use for the remainder of your life and prepare for the Second Coming or, failing that, sign up to a yoga class so you can develop the necessary flexibility to shove your head down your esophagus if you think that your story washes better than Effe’s reported accounts. You think your brand means more to Ghanaians than the trauma of the alleged forcible breaking of a teenage virgin’s hymen? And you have the nerve to speak of sex with a teenager as a sign of vitality and manliness? After you had earlier on apologized for having sex with same? You really believe that younger generations of men are jealous of the idea that younger women come after men of your particular age and ilk because you have more stud-like sexual stamina? Really? This is sick! You need help, and for more than anti-depressants. Yours, pissed-off-beyond compare, Me.
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By JayJay D. Segbefia, NAV Accra-GHANA I’d like to introduce you to Nii Amate. Nii Amate has participated in almost every BraveHearts Expeditions’ Abseil adventure since the firm rolled out the first-ever commercial abseil project in 2015, taking on challenges between 20 and 50 metres of vertical space every time. On the BraveHearts Expeditions #NoLimits4Kids Abseil adventure on July 6 this year, Nii Amate, scrambling light-footed over rocks to the top of the abseil rig mentioned to Clients Services Manager Ellen Lokko when she asked if he wouldn’t need her help, “I might need some help,” stressing on the point that he would be willing to receive help only if he found himself wanting, but not for a lack of effort. Nii Amate is a 4-year old pupil of the Trinity Montessori School in Dzorwulu, whose dream is to become a Super Hero, an Astronaut and a Doctor. And, at the age of 4, he has achieved the mindset-shift and the intellectual resonance of unapologetic greatness that 75 percent of the Ghanaian population will not achieve until they turn 40. Fifteen minutes after the above conversation with Ellen, Nii Amate made history as the first under-five year old to abseil the Mogo Rock of the Shai Hills Reserve unaccompanied by an adult. The experience of Nii Amate, and the increasing number of kids who face the challenges of the Ghanaian outdoors, is one that is pregnant with lessons towards creating a new generation of young people who have boundless imaginations and believe in their mental capacity to undo the crass mediocrity handed down to us by Ghanaians of the pre-1957 to 1979 stock. It starts by breaking down the chains of mental slavery that have been handed down to us from Ghanaian generations dating as far back as the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade era. And the path to complete intellectual emancipation of the Ghanaian starts with the interaction of Ghana’s Children with the great Ghanaian Outdoors. Outdoor Adventure is good for Kids Increasing evidence demonstrates the many benefits of the outdoors on children’s psychological, emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical well-being, including reduced stress, greater physical health, more creativity and improved concentration. Beyond the health and cognitive benefits children gain from free and mentally-unrestricted play in the outdoors, nature also provides them with a sense of wonder and a deeper understanding of our responsibility to take care of the Earth. How exactly can a kid develop a sense of wonder when they are reduced to playing Pokemon Go? Another study by the North Carolina State University’s College of Design outlines eleven amazing benefits of introducing kids into the outdoors. Outdoor adventure supports multiple development domains, supports creativity and problem solving, enhances cognitive abilities, improves academic performance, reduces Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) symptoms, increases physical activity, improves nutrition, improves eyesight (reduces rates of myopia in children and adolescents, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology), improves social relations, improves self-discipline, and reduces stress. Summing up, Hewes and McEwan (2005), quoted in this Children in the Outdoors Literature, are happy to note, “…it is obvious that outdoor play experiences contribute to children’s physical development, in particular to motor development. Less obvious is the learning that happens as children test their strength, externally and internally: how high can I climb? Why does my heart pound when I run? Am I brave enough to jump from this platform?” The same work quotes the natural environment as representing “dynamic and rough playscapes… The topography, like slopes and rocks, afford natural obstacles that children have to cope with. The vegetation provides shelters and trees for climbing. The meadows are for running and tumbling.” What Ghana Needs is a Change in Mind-set Human beings start out as beings of action, mature into beings of thought, and evolve into both. I am no fan of Ghana’s first President, but I am a firm believer in his quote: “Revolutions are brought about by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought.” Central to the Action & Thought evolution is the Power of Questioning, which is the foundation of change and problem-solving. And, all little children ever do is ask WHY? This is why young children are the key to Ghana’s development challenges. As stressed by Theologian, Ghanaian Author and International Speaker, Dr. Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, “The why question has given birth to many inventions. You cannot start solving Africa’s problems, unless you ask why. You must carefully diagnose the problem. Don’t give solutions until you know why. Once you diagnose a problem [it becomes] half the problem solved.” Invariably, children are half-way through solving societal problems by their natural disposition to posing the why question. Why is the sky blue? Why is water wet? Why doesn’t Mommy go to school? Why can’t I use the girl’s washroom? Why can’t I drive? Why does Daddy have the biggest portion of meat? Why do we have dumsor? And these are questions that demand answers… the answers that are difficult for us sometimes to provide but cannot run away from all the same. Such as my good friend Nuerki A-B’s interesting attempt to answer a simple question posed by her daughter as quoted below: Daughter: Wow, look over there, Mommy. Many cows. Nuerki: Very observant, Ace-Ann. Let’s learn a new word for next time you see so many. Use cattle instead of cows. It is more accurate. Daughter: But cows is a word… Nuerki: Yes, but it is largely used for females. Females are girls. What you saw back there was a mix. Daughter: Okay…so, what are the boy cows called? Nuerki: Bulls Silence for 3mins. Daughter: What do the girls look like? Nuerki: (Picks up the phone as a point of escape) But in the outdoors, when we push them beyond their limits of mental endurance, they may find the answers to their questions and more, for the lesson book of nature is exhaustless, and calls forth the powers of the most contemplative elements of the human mind in her quiet majesty and unspoken Greatness. Like Nii Amate, kids have no fears. We simply must refuse to pass ours on to them. This we can do by signing them up to hiking, trekking, abseiling, canoeing, rock-climbing, camping, and many other outdoor adventure activities that would not only improve their physical well-being but, more important, shape their mental faculties in the direction we all will be proud of, in a country that is bogged down with so much mediocrity it cannot solve its own energy needs in a sub-region inundated with solar and ocean power-generating potential. No limits for Kids, I say!  
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