Dear Nii Kpakpo,
So here I find myself at 3 am wide awake humming hymns and ironing my clothes just waiting for morning so I can go out on the knoll of the hill where I’m lodging in this guest house just to watch the sunrise on the wonderful view of the escarpment and plains of Nakpanduri in the Bunkprugu District in Northern region of Ghana.
And now I remember that exam question “and one may ask what am I doing this far up north?”
Before I tell you Kpakpo lemme give you a brief history of where I’m staying now – this guest house. You know being a history buff I will delve into it small.
As narrated by Mr. Bidzakin, the octogenarian father of the pretty young lady,he was a Young Pioneer at the time and they had to line up to welcome Dr Nkrumah as president of Ghana when he visited up north, stopped over to rest in the house and then continued his journey to Kulungugu where they later learnt there had been an assassination attempt on him. He didn’t spend the night in the house though.
For his visit, he had a house built for him on a hill with the view of an escarpment and a wide valley for miles around. It is said that the builders used only 15days to get the house ready from scratch for the then president to stay in. Even though just a rest stop for the president, the house still stands with the the same furnishings that the president used on his visit and that is where I am sleeping for 2 nights.
It has since been known as the Nkrumah House.,
I think maybe I’m even sleeping in his bed even but I’m not too sure of that.
Now Kpakpo, what am I doing here?
You know since moving up north I have been doing a lot of volunteer work in various aspects for various organizations and one main area apart from the reading that I’m extra passionate about is mentoring young people so they can be better people, not necessarily leaders, in future. The future they say belongs to the youth.
Kpakpo, couple of months ago I met a pretty young woman at BlogCamp2015 who shared her experience with what her organization was doing with young people in conflict prone areas and I was touched. With a little knowledge of what has happened in conflict prone areas all over Africa (young people taking to arms and fighting in wars)I thought her work was very important in channeling the minds of these youth away from what is going on all around them into their own personal goals and mindset to achieve something for themselves. Inasmuch as we didn’t talk much I made a mental note to find out more and do what I can to help out.
Nii Kpakpo Thompson, when I tell you nature has a way of setting things right you know I ain’t joking. A few weeks ago I get a call from somebody else within the Swag Volunteers that they need mentors to come talk to the youth in some far away conflict prone area and I think I was the first to jump on it based on what I know and now even helped convinced other volunteers to sign up and make it not only a working trip but also a fun trip.
Hey! The place is a 5 hour drive from Tamale by rickety bus on uncertain roads. But still in the northern region.
Any3mi little did I know that it was this girl’s organization that was organizing the event dubbed MindShift Seminar. The seminar is aimed at talking to youth in this area not to heed the wranglings and dissenting views that lead to conflicts in their area but rather act as ambassadors and peer leaders so that they can live their lives to the full and achieve their dreams. With their personal dreams on hand it’s hardly possible for anybody to convince them otherwise to take up arms against each other.
Kpakpo, so after a 5 hour wait for the bus to get full in Tamale, and another 5 hour drive, meeting the retired Telecom professor who’s now fertilizer salesman (that’s a story for another day), here I am wide awake just waiting for morning so I get to meet the young people.
Nii Kpakpo we already seen the view in sunset and it’s to die for and now I want to see the sunrise.
My colleague volunteers are already having breakfast being Muslims fasting in this Holy month of Ramadan and we’re already making plans of how the day is gonna go.
One thing is for sure, this is one thing we all love to do. Shaping young minds.
Kpakpo, will keep you posted how the event goes and the adventure we intend to have before and after the event.
Will write again soon.
Oh! And being a conflict prone area there is a curfew here from ten pm to four am and our house is just a few meters away from one of the military outposts. Being Nkrumah house that’s to be expected.
Your Cousin in Law,