Dear Nii Kpakpo,
So one day I was sitting behind my laptop in the library and I got notified by a friend of a training program organized by the British Council for entrepreneurs and graduates and advised me to apply. Well I did and when they asked for options where I wanted to take the training I said Kumasi because it would be easier for me to travel there and have it. There was an Accra option but it was too far away.
Then I forgot about it.
Leaving Tamale for Accra I didn’t really plan on it so when I got a call one morning that I was supposed to be at Blazing Trails I quickly did the necessary and took a straight “dropping” to the venue only to be told that the call had come from the Kumasi not Accra office. However how much I pleaded to get onto the training since it was running concurrently but organizers were adamant. Best they could do was put me on the next one, in Wa.
This time I had the date in mind but only had to convince myself if I really wanted to spend all that money for this program.
Kpakpo you know lately I’ve been traveling around pretty much and in three weeks I’ve traveled between Accra and Tamale 4 times already and now I had to go to Wa from Accra and then head to Tamale when I was done.
So I booked OA Travel and Tours tickets and as if by design I got a bus with plenty Walla women. Oh! I’ve told you about that already but what I noticed is that the company is making good money with the night travels because people can actually go to work and travel at the close of day since buses leave Accra at 8 pm. On this particularly night, there were four buses and we were the last to arrive in Wa. Another lesson learnt is not to travel at the last minute when program starts that very morning when I arrive.
Blazing Trails was fun any3mi. I was a few minutes late but fortunately the facilitator had to take a call so was outside when I went in and some of my colleagues helped me out to sign in and get the materials required and do the first assignment given. Just when I was about to settle in a tall dude walks up to me and calls me Kola Nut and after introducing himself says we had met at GhanaThink Barcamp in Wa, where I had attended as a mentor earlier on in the year.
Boy oh Boy! The way this world is going we cannot overemphasize the importance of networking which such programs like the Barcamp keeps stressing. There were 3 others there who recognized me. Wow!
Kpakpo, it would interest you to note that even my hosts in Wa were hookups from Barcamp. I posted in one of the offshoot groups from the Wa edition that I was coming to town and needed a host and one young woman said she’d take care of me and hooked me up to her brother with whom I spent my 3 days in town. Furthermore I also went to the basketball court and they were guys worried about where I was staying and when I wanted to play somebody provided me with training shoes that fit perfectly.
Networking is key I tell you.
With the facilitator outside I quickly introduced myself and kinda coordinated an introduction session so we the participants get to know each other and also choose a training course representative. One dude was quickly chosen and seconded and truth be told he acquitted himself pretty well all through the period of the training.
Kpakpo for people who came from different parts of the country, oh there was a cutie from Tarkwa who stole the show with enough body, we really did get on pretty well even in healthy competition to get the attention of the gals on the program. Guys teased each other to get the ladies attention and overall the camaraderie was high.
The quips were plenty and with a very jovial facilitator who chips in plenty food for thought especially when it comes to current affairs and the Ghanaian situation with governance and policy and relating entrepreneural life to relations with women, the training program was bound to be full of high energy and heavily interactive. It is not quite surprising that the facilitator confessed that albeit training people for years this particular group was impressive with the way everybody was contributing and sharing experiences with each other.
Nii Kpakpo Thompson, the Blazing Trails entrepreneur training in Wa was a success and interestingly it is one program where participants spent their Saturday at training and still wanted more. If even without the facilitation the participants wanted to see each other again because every day had an unexpected twist to it.
However I must say that there was a pervading sense of danger overhanging the town of Wa due to the incidence of several robberies especially of the university students by some unruly residents. There has been incidents of especially female students getting robbed not even at night but early evening of their possessions and motorbikes, the main means of transport for students in town. Apparently it has reached a stage where there were also some domestic thefts such as armed robbers attacking the students in their hostels. For such a vibrant town it is such a shame that there is a stifling of youth freedom and entertainment and when it gets dark a self imposed curfew surrounds parts of the town.
Any3mi what that means is that unlike other campuses where events can be organized at night for fun and experience it doesn’t happen on the university campus in Wa and that’s pretty sad if you ask me. How can a student live in fear half the time on campus especially the women, with almost no social life especially at night. Every evening was spent indoors except my last night when I took a walk in the zongo which apparently is the only place there are not robberies. I was too tired to go out anyway being tired from the training.
Well, I can say that my second trip to Wa was well spent and it was both a learning experience and time to increase my social network. Thank you all who made my trip a fun one both old and new friends. Inasmuch as it wasn’t as much fun with boys boys sitting in pubs or having nights out with friends, which would’ve been fun, Wa had its own perks and every moment spent was memorable.
Kpakpo I’m now back to your sister in Tamale and back home a better person. Let’s keep getting better and influencing our society in whatever ways we can.
I still remain
Your Cousin in Law,