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paa.kwesi's blog

Thinking in English: The dangers of talking too much

Posted by paa.kwesi on Fri, 05/23/2008 - 10:12

The GhanaThink call to action is "Less talk, more action" and over the years I've been personally motivated by this call. It has forced me to re-evaluate what it means to do more and talk less. In fact, it is a lot harder to take action than to talk about taking action. And I have found that until you take action, you do not really know what you are talking about.

Talking is good, to some extent. It exercises your mind and forces you to articulate your ideas. But to what end? I believe, talking should only serve the purpose of convincing others to join you in taking action. i.e. talking is a recruiting tool. Any other use is probably a waste of time for both the speaker and the audience.

The best of America : Obama's refreshing perspective on Xenophobia

Posted by paa.kwesi on Thu, 03/20/2008 - 18:20

Mr Obama did a great job explaining America's ills and pointing to a pragmatic way to move beyond it (see speech here: . Read transcript here: I've been in a few 'black' churches in the US and have been shocked by some of the controversial statements made from pulpits. But then again I've also witnessed some downright disrespectful behavior towards American 'blacks' which makes those statements understandable.

Thinking in English : In someone else's words...

Posted by paa.kwesi on Sun, 12/30/2007 - 21:37

I received a link a few hours ago and was very pleased with what I read when I followed the link. It is a link to an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson and I think everyone should read it for that the spirit in which I wish the conversations on this forum were conducted, ideas evaluated and actions undertaken.

Thinking in English : Lessons from TEDGlobal

Posted by paa.kwesi on Fri, 10/26/2007 - 22:21

This is a few months late but here it is...

Pidgin Reason : Preserving da mind

Posted by paa.kwesi on Thu, 09/06/2007 - 17:21

So yestee, me den one of me ol' skuul paddies have some conversation that evolve like so:

paddy: ha go gather british accent?
me: more like a mixture i sure
paddy: interesting...
can I say lost soul?
i keed i keed
me: tehehe... hopefully not. i just tend to speak like ppl around me
same as bad co destroys good manners type of thing
paddy: ha ha...i hear
me: more intent on preserving the mind
paddy: hmmm...ayt ayt

Pidgin Reason : Some U S of A/AU dis?

Posted by paa.kwesi on Tue, 07/31/2007 - 21:18

If the following story be true dier a, make I cry or make I laugh?

A deal to resolve a border dispute has been signed by the leaders of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Signed during President Joseph Kabila's visit to Angola, it will return the boundaries to their colonial borders.
Angola's President Eduardo Dos Santos said the deal also tackles illegal immigration from DR Congo, which he says is a matter of national security.

Thinking in English : Reckless medicine

Posted by paa.kwesi on Sun, 07/08/2007 - 20:29

This topic is a well-beaten chicken-and-egg problem but I do find it harrowing that to this day, many young women needlessly lose their lives or their reproductive organs from the reckless (I can find no better adjective) actions of our doctors.

Ours is a get-married, give-birth-next-year society. The first chips-eating occasion must necessarily be followed by the next: the out-dooring. But unfortunately, for all these years, our doctors don't seem to have a handle on this process. In the meantime, they have laughed the best birth-mothers into shame and professional disrepute.

Thinking in English : Locally Productive Knowledge, II: The Inspiration that is Mr Kamkwamba

Posted by paa.kwesi on Fri, 06/29/2007 - 16:07

If you have time, read up on Mr Kamkwamba ( I met the dude and he's not one given to much words (or maybe it's because my chiChewa is not usable). And even more importantly, glory found him--he didn't go seeking it. He is the modern African I want to be like--inspired to solve immediate problems with immediate materials.

Thinking in English : The African Uprising

Posted by paa.kwesi on Thu, 06/28/2007 - 21:32

From the Archives, and before I got to thinking that the name "Africa" ought to be gotten rid of :) This is a fictional piece imagining the sort of continent one would return home to after several years of roaming the world...

The African Uprising, Jan 31 2005

In this century Africans have had enough of having their identity being defined by other
peoples. I speak as a member of the Fante peoples of West Africa. This has probably already raised some hackles. Relax.

Thinking in English : The Nduom Movement

Posted by paa.kwesi on Mon, 06/25/2007 - 22:15

I'm beginning to see plenty of hype coalescing to encourage Paa Kwesi Nduom of Ghana to run for president. This got me thinking about the whole race for the presidency hubbub in the motherland.

So to the real 2 old Ghana pesewas (by next week, we'll be spending the new pesewas).

Thinking in English : Celtel, the first great continental company

Posted by paa.kwesi on Mon, 06/11/2007 - 22:59

Celtel just announced last week that they have expanded their One network into East Africa: Previously the network covered Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. Now they have added in RoC, DRC and Gabon. With their properties in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso, they're well-placed to put fire to the whole continent with cheap communication! Indeed, once the Nigerian Celtel is linked up to the One network, we'll see huge connectivity benefits just because of the immense size of the Nigerian audience.

Thinking in English : Fathia Nkrumah, icon of an era

Posted by paa.kwesi on Thu, 05/31/2007 - 21:37

Fathia Nkrumah is dead. 8:07pm GMT, the message arrived in my email inbox.

Thinking in English : South Africa and the two faces of "African" values

Posted by paa.kwesi on Fri, 05/18/2007 - 01:49

In the land of our birth, there are two value systems. The "African" values and the "School" values. The temptation of two often competing value systems that are not clearly defined by anyone allows for a great leeway of judgment.

Thinking in English: Am I talking to you?

Posted by paa.kwesi on Tue, 05/01/2007 - 22:32

Whenever I do write a public article like this, the struggle is to try to speak correctly to the audience. The fact that the language is English does not really help, because it suggests that the audience is the English-speaking community, while in reality it is mostly unwise to define your audience too broadly. You end up speaking to everyone in general but no-one in particular.

Thinking in English : Failure and remittances

Posted by paa.kwesi on Tue, 04/24/2007 - 23:23

So this past weekend a couple of us got together and as usual talk turned to the land of our birth. Among the many things we laughed over, one thing that struck me during our conversation was that our very presence in aburokyire was a sign of failure of various systems at home. Not one of us are in aburokyire because we merely seek adventure, or the thrill of winter, but all of us came because we thought it was "the next big thing" in our lives.