The year 2019 started on a very positive note with the utmost quest of this blog to push more of our youth to put thoughts to paper and get their works published. It has been an arduous task as many of our youth do not see the necessity of writing, fear how their write-ups will be taken by others and how to even start writing the many things they wish to write about. So it has not been easy in that resolution. But we pushed through.
The blog started its year with a young lady touching on what she believes is The African Paradox; Poor in Riches. After she lamented the terrible situation in Africa, she ended on a very positive note when she hinted that Nelson Mandela once said “overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice.” Africa is indeed a continent of wealth but a continent of poverty. It is incumbent on us to terminate our mediocre attitudes and mentalities, set our priorities right and elevate Africa from the shadows of poverty.” Zainab Ahmed Himou, though studied Marketing at the University of Professional Studies, Accra began actuating her desire to be a journalist by writing short pieces. So she contributed a lot of write-ups to the blog in the year under review. She let the world know that whatever your situation is, Suicide is not an option. She taught us that Family is everything. She also looked into the issue of Women Empowerment and believes that it is key. She is currently at the Ghana Institute of Journalism.
Another lady that visited the blog strongly was the lady who discussed her desire to be able to put thoughts to paper for long but could not get the time or the need until she found herself outside the shores of the land. In Germany, she decided to share some of the things she encountered and experienced in Ghana. She decided to introduce her write-ups with the name of her community. Maryam’s Fadi Ka Futa (say it and be free). Maryam Bingel decided to start with our teachers by educating them on some of the misconceptions they held strongly in their description of every chaotic class as makaranta. She offered real education on how the makaranta that is lampooned by these ignorant teachers employs the incorporation of all senses implored for effective learning and retention of learned materials. She stirred the hornet’s nest when she touched on the plight of some of the married women in our society who are left by their husbands who go abroad and conveniently get married to other ladies in other countries. It was a courageous write-up which attracted a gale of reactions. She boldly captioned it “It happens in our society; the side-chick wife.”
Another strong lady, Salwa Abdallah Toure led us into the discussions on what the author Mariam Ba described as “the eternal compromise.” She offered some thoughts on marriage. I must confess that I really got elated when Salwa decided to put up something. She is so good not to take up the honored skill of writing as a hobby. Convincing her to go for it was the ninth wonder of the world.
One interesting guest writer is the girl from North Kaneshie who enjoyed the feedback from her first published write-up so much so that she determined to put out a piece periodically. Hajia Sidika did well though she could have done more considering her spirit of altruism and her experiences in her short stay on this earth. Her write-ups were mostly about her struggles and life experiences. She began with the mother-in-law saga, touched on Zongo and shared great knowledge when she decided to dwell on the journey to maternity. She blew the minds of many when she shared the story of how she had to do Senior High School twice before she made a cut for the University of Ghana.
Fati White contributed very deep write-ups to the growth of the blog. A final year student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism, she gave us reasons why Orphans are everyone’s responsibility and how it is not a crime to be a woman; don’t make it one. She finally led us to pray for Chereponi when they found themselves soaked in conflict.
Ibrahim Abdul Aziz touched on chronicles of a class representative, Suad the psychologist took us to clean our beaches, Abdallah Issah felt nostalgic at the Success Book Club Sex Discussion, Hikma discussed the Hijab as an identity, Inusah Saheed took us back to the great Hindi movie Three Idiots and Mubarak Iddrisu capped it all with a wonderful write-up on O’Boy Fami, the disabled young man who braved all odds to become the definition of disability not inability. Of all the wonderful write-ups, the one that was so dear to me was the opinion shared by Zeinab Ibrahim about the menacing issue of drug abuse in our community. It appears we have lost the fight against this dastardly act as we keep losing scores of our teenagers to it.
Indeed it has been a great year for the blog as we took a backseat to publish and read the works of others and share them widely to the world. We cannot forget the fact that ourselves, we touched on one or two issues in town. It started when one dis-honorable in the name of Samuel Atta Akyea make an unguarded statement on the floor of parliament which was a grave insult to the people of Nima. We descended on him with the fury of a wounded lion. His statement was not only stupid, but thoughtless to say the least. We followed it up by lamenting some of the poor practices in our community which gave people like Atta Akyea the effrontery to make derogatory remarks against us.
In August, E-Ananse Library ensured Kayayei dropped their pans to pick up books to read. It was a momentous occasion as the redemptive power of reading was unleashed on this beautiful bevy. In a collaborative piece with Naa Ninche, another great writer, we examined the President’s State of Nation Address and realized it was empty words with nothing to show. The blog also saw the great writer Shafic Osman collaborate with us to respond to the pseudo-Islamic criticism of Hijab is an Identity; a campaign that sought to fight for the rights of Muslim girls who are discriminated against in public spaces because of their Hijab.
The highlight for this blog this was the review of the book Rabbital Kingdom written by Samiha Sulleyman, one industrious lady. The book won the 3rd prize Award in the children stories category the 4th GAW (Ghana Association of writers) Literary Awards. The downside for us this year has been the many literary activities the blog failed to capture and the eleven years journey to a degree which failed to find a space here. The blog has also not been that vehement on the political issues of the day but will do so strongly next year. It is an election year for that matter.
I salute all the guest writers and wish to publish and read more from them. To all patrons of this blog, we wish you all the best in the coming year and say keep the spirit alive. We must work in producing great write-ups that will continue to shape our communities and the world.
I end with the words of one of the greatest writers the world has seen. Chinua Achebe stated that “Most writers who are beginners, if they are honest with themselves, will admit that they are praying for a readership as they begin to write. But it should be the quality of the craft, not the audience that should be the greatest motivating factor.”
NB: The Writer is the Executive Director of Success Book Club.