Savanna Events

Dear Nii Kpakpo,

It has been a very eventful few weeks here in the savanna and I will try to chronicle some for you.

As you might rightly know, Tamale is arguably the fastest growing city in Ghana now and I think I have mentioned several times that it comes with its attendant problems. Kpakpo, the filth is just overwhelming the city. Hitherto a place that did not have people sleeping on the sidewalks now has a few homeless people loitering the pavements till morning. There is now pressure on social amenities and I hope city authorities are noticing the changes and acting accordingly.

Nii Kpakpo, as for the NGOs the less said about them the better. At a recent global forum on youth organized by Action Aid we came to a conclusion that it was obvious that there was a lack of cooperation between the donor countries and agencies and they all ended up just duplicating what each other did in the communities without really affecting the communities much. There is the need for them to collaborate with each other so they can actively monitor the impact they make in the various communities especially with regards to women and children issues.

Kpakpo, we have realized also on several platforms that it is the organizations with less money that do most of the work whilst those with more just steal the data on the improved communities for themselves.

Chale! You didn’t hear it from me oh.

That is not to say some of them are not doing amazing stuff. No names mentioned.
Nii Kpakpo Thompson, the other day the morning show host made me very shy when he asked me on air when I had last written to you. Chale! I tell you laziness is not good oh. We are discussing the issues with regards to our national multiple award ace journalist who uncovered the rot in the third realm of the estate.

Kw33!! Our judges?? Oh Ma Gwad!! They don’t even shock me as much as the court clerks who are the go between in this whole sham. But I promised myself I wont talk about it till I see the full video. However I am glad that with the suits flying left right and centre it still managed to be aired and shown to the world as it was scheduled.
Kudos to the Tiger Eye Team.

What they have done is to put Ghanaians on our toes that whilst we point one finger at others, we point four more at ourselves. In these trying times, it is difficult to be honest especially when everyone is culpable one way or the other but it is best that we do what we can to promote national development in our own small corner.

Talking about doing our own small thing to help national development, you know Founders Day which is Nkrumah’s birthday was declared National Volunteer Day by the GhanaThink Foundation and this year several activities marked the day all over the country. Youth volunteers were seen cleaning up communities, donating blood, teaching in schools, spending time with children in orphanages and painting buildings all over. In the savanna, we did all these and for me I had quite an experience visiting the Tamale Children’s orphanage to make a donation and then spending time helping to nurse and read to children at the children’s ward of the Tamale West Hospital.

Nii Kpakpo, #NVDay15 was an eye opener and it was overwhelming to see people come out just to help other people at least put smiles on their faces. The babies I carried had a profound impact on me. There was this one little boy barely two years old who just sat alone in the corner whilst most people made a fuss about the cute newborns in the orphanage. He just sat there and when I went to sit in front of him without talking but tweeting away on my tablet we just sat there, two lonely souls oblivious to the world around us.

Kpakpo, I could relate to how this little boy was feeling because there have been times when I was surrounded by many people yet felt so lonely than ever before. We just understood each other and sat there. Finally when I reached out to him he just lifted his arms out to be carried and then we joined the others in the little room set aside for spending time with the children. We had all along been sitting outside the room in the middle of the corridor.

When we finally joined the rest he spent his whole time sitting in my lap and whenever somebody tried to take him off me, he would cry to be left alone. We just sat there most of the time and when refreshments were brought he didn’t have to tell me to put the straw in his juice for him, he just offered it for me to do it for him. We just understood each other and I was so taken by this little quiet boy barely two years old.

The same thing at the children’s ward when I took a sick child from the mother to console whilst health attendants put a drip in his hand and he was crying. The whole time I held him close he kept quiet and allowed the attendants to take care of him but when his mother had to take him to give him medicine and later breast milk the little one burst out crying and hanged on tighter to me. Finally I had to coax him that I will be back and went to another sick child to read a picture book to so he could eat his food. I was overwhelmed when the mother smiled in gratitude to say that it has been difficult for him to eat in his sickness and that the picture book helped and he ate a whole bowl of tuo zaafi which had been his heaviest meal in three days.

Nii Kpakpo, volunteering is giving oneself to the benefit of others and these stories really got to me on the long weekend after we had had an interesting reading clinic. Yes! The reading clinic is still on and the children have improved so much in their writing skill and confidence that on Friday I was so overwhelmed coordinating the Founders Day special that I went home to weep. It was so touching especially when a 12 year old gal wrote and performed a poem on Nkrumah during the creative writing exercise.

Nii Kpakpo, lemme not put all the stories in one letter and lemme save some for the other letters. With that I will end this one here and admonish that we keep encouraging people to volunteer. Keep well till I write again.

Your Cousin in law,
Savannah Boy

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