The end of another month is here. Every worker will walk to the bank but only a few may do so smiling. While a chunk may be withdrawing their measly salary to pay off their debts only to start another cycle of borrowing, the fat cheques of the few others may be spent on more and more luxuries. The irony of life is that those who work more are oftentimes paid less and those who work less are paid more.
Entrepreneurship is such a great venture but when it is driven by selfishness, it puts everyone at risk. When a few greedy ones use this tool to reach the top, everyone else pays for it. It becomes a fulltime job dealing with such characters because all they think about is how to outwit others for their selfish desires. All they think about is feeding their wants at the expense of the needs of others!
There’s so much talk about everyone getting into entrepreneurship in one way or the other. That’s great. However, what we forget to remind them is that no one ever reaches the top alone. Just as there’s no head without a neck, there’s no employer without his/her employees.
As we dare others to chart the path of entrepreneurship, let’s not forget to add that no employer creates a product/service alone. The premium customers of every business are the employees. When we treat them right, it affects every aspect of the business. We must not forget to remind our wannabe entrepreneurs that we need people to succeed… and after we have succeeded, we should not forget them!
The ultimate goal of every entrepreneur is not to provide jobs― it is to provide well-paying jobs. Anyone can create jobs. What makes a good entrepreneur, however, stand out from the rest is providing a job that won’t be worse than having none. A job is no job if your employees still have the job of searching for another job!
When people say they have provided jobs, the question we should be asking is whether or not they are “hand-to-mouth” jobs. When they pride themselves in the fact that they are putting food on the table of others, we should be wondering if it is not leftover food. We need to move from the level of just providing jobs!
We don’t need jobs. We need jobs that we can really call a job. We don’t just want to be occupied all through the month with little or nothing to show for at the end of the month. We don’t need jobs that will make others richer and us… poorer.
Entrepreneurship is supposed to be driven by the heart, not stomach. When we put ourselves in the shoes of others, we won’t allow them to walk in such. We won’t buy expensive cars for ourselves while we leave them with peanuts that won’t even last them till the next peanuts come. Our human capital should be our priceless capital!
How one treats their staff goes a long way to tell the future of their business. A firm that runs on the wheels of one person’s greed will soon grind to a halt because greed is contagious. Every man or woman in that firm will sooner or later become greedy, too. Call it corruption!
When I see an entrepreneur flaunting their wealth all over the place, I ask myself how well they are paying their staff. It’s utter fraud to be living in luxury when those who made the wealth with you are living in penury. It’s only an irresponsible man who tries to look rich in the eyes of society when his home is starving.
The truest reflection of our wealth is seen in the hearts of those who work for us. The worth we place on our employees is a mirror of our state of wealth. Our greatest investment is an investment into our human capital. When we invest into our human resource, it will yield an overflowing result. If we can’t imagine investing in our staff, we should stop imagining investing in our business because it will yield almost no result.
We need entrepreneurs who know the worth of their staff. We need employers who will travel to the moon and back to give their employees a befitting reward of a salary each month. We need job providers who will appreciate every effort each employee puts into the business. Our businesses can’t grow if the reward system for our employees is not growing either.
We need people-centered leaders, especially entrepreneurs. We need entrepreneurs who will treat others the way they would have loved to be treated if they were in their shoes. We need jobs that will make us feel a part of them. We need jobs that will not only feed our mouths… but our hearts, too. We don’t only need jobs. We need jobs that won’t be the reason we are chasing after more jobs!
Flaunt your wealth on your staff… not on unnecessary stuff. When you hold your staff in high esteem, they hold your business in high esteem, too. When you treat them as junk, your business continues to remain a tabletop one. The surest way of business expansion is to convince your staff beyond doubt that you’ll be there for them just as they always been there for you.
An entrepreneur is like a football coach. A good one will always affect the output of his players. A bad one will always be the reason for the countless losses. We need jobs… but not jobs that will treat us as nothing but jobs!
We need entrepreneurs who understand the golden rule― entrepreneurs who will do for others what they want others to do for them. We don’t need something we can call a job. We need something that is really a job!
The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), a writing company based in Accra. His play TRIBELESS is on Saturday, June 16th, 2018 at National Theatre.
CHARACTER OVER CHARM
Packaging attracts you to buy a product. However, what you really need is the content of that product. Regardless of how expensive the packaging may be, the content of every good product should be more expensive. Content is the need. Packaging is only a want. Content is of more priority than packaging.
Charm is the packaging. Character is the content. Charm is what attracts you. Character is what keeps you. Charm is what you see. Character is what you’d need to observe to see. Charm is what we have. Character is what we are. Charm is cheap, hence, fleeting. Character takes time to build, hence, permanent.
Charm is like an edifice built on the lowland. Character is that edifice built on a rock. It will take only one rainy season to tell the difference between these two edifices. It doesn’t cost much to have charm. However, you will need your all to earn a robust character!
No good manufacturer will spend more on their packaging than the content of their product. If you want to keep your clients closer, you invest into the content more than the packaging. In the same breadth, no client will buy a product just because of its packaging. Innately, what every client needs is the good content of every product!
Marriage is like a product. When you’re due for choosing a life partner, charm should not be your only focus. Always remember that their packaging is fleeting. What will stay when everything has left is their character. What you’d need to contain when all the excitement of the butterflies in the stomach has died down… is who they truly are.
If many had paid a little more attention to the character of someone they thought was a life partner, they wouldn’t have ended up in a tug-of-war at divorce courts. If they had not been clouded by the mere beauty or handsomeness of their spouses, they wouldn’t have gotten stuck in a “happily-never-after” marriage.
Beauty is vain. If your topmost priority of a would-be-bride is their light skin, you have already pre-signed your divorce papers. If all you look out for in a potential husband is their height or “six-packs”, you’re stabbing your own future. What keeps a relationship is foresight and insight… not height!
When the storms of life begin raging, “six-packs” can’t solve them but wisdom will. When responsibilities start piling up and you both may need to complement each other, it will have nothing to do with a polished face… but have everything to with a polished mind.
Life will always come back with tests to ask us why we chose our spouses. Our reason(s) will be laid bare. If it was for beauty, we will fail. We may want to cheat because no one looks 25 forever no matter how well they take care of themselves. We may want to jilt them at the least chance because age will cage them. Times will change but what will remain constant is who people really are― their character!
Times without number, many make the choice of a life partner based on the packaging instead of the content… unfortunately. They want society to appreciate them for having a classy taste. In their bid to please others, they displease their own selves. Listen. Society will only see beauty but you will stay with character.
Pay attention to who they are on the inside… not outside. Keep a close eye on how they think. Our thoughts are a mirror of our character. Pay attention to their priorities. Pay attention to their likes and dislikes. Don’t gloss over what they say about others or how they talk to them. Pay attention to their sense of integrity. Who they really are is a sum total of all such.
Character should always be the priority of every relationship. Who people are on the inside is what we should fall for… not what they have on the outside. A well of love built on a foundation of character never runs dry. A couple whose love for each other is based on their character is almost inseparable because when everything has faded, character still remains.
Every bachelor and spinster prepping for marriage should intermittently ask themselves why they chose their supposed life partner. They should make a priority list and know what emerges topmost. If it is anything but character, they should rethink their decision f marriage. Beauty is vain and charm is always fleeting. Fame fades and wealth dwindles. What remains constant has always been character.
If beauty were to be a car, character would have been its fuel. Without fuel, a car is only another useless toy. It is great to want to marry a charming young man or woman. However, it is a red flag if that charm is without good character. Such a marriage would soon need to ‘park’ because there would be no fuel to run it!
Dreaming of marrying a fashionable young woman is great. However, be reminded that regardless of how thick the foundation of their makeup is, it can’t cover up a bad attitude. It’s okay if you’d die on the cross for a bearded man. Note, however, that when marital headaches start brewing, they can’t hide in his beard!
Time will fade one’s beauty but will only make their character more pronounced. That’s why character should always be considered ahead of charm. When all has been said and done, don’t regret buying a product whose packaging was more expensive than its content. Don’t be shortchanged in marriage because you were deluded by some temporary feeling called looks.
Focus on character, not charm. Cheers!
The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), a writing company based in Accra. His play TRIBELESS is this June at National Theatre.
This subject is either black or white. Trying to find a grey area on such discussions takes layers off your argument, leaving you as guilty as…let’s say, someone who just understands the train station.
My friend shared with me a link to a Facebook story, about a girl who was raped by her best friend [her best friend is female]. I opened the link and closed it immediately I realized it was more than four slides. I saved the link as my read before I go to bed; a ritual. I forgot to read that night.
The next, I opened a whatsapp group to see the same story. My friends were discussing the story, and trying to break it down to whether whatever transpired between the girl and her best friend was rape or not. Sadly, or rather accurately, to my excitement, it wasn’t the kind of subject that generated diverse opinions. Everyone in the group agreed it was rape. I smiled. I was happy I had friends who identify rape, and address it with the urgency it deserves. I love my friends. I love that I have friends who understand consent. I have friends who respect humans.
This victim has been friends with her abuser for a very long time, which blurred out whatever happens between them. Leaving her vulnerable to feel she had lost her voice or the will to choose her first. As long as she was concerned, she had to put her friend’s happiness before hers. It wouldn’t make sense, but that explains how far some will go to protect friendship.
Sometimes, victims find it difficult to call out rape as rape. And this is because of their relationship with whoever the culprit is. My friend dropped an example of such abuse which summed up everything.
If we are all honest to ourselves, some people usually have that one person in their lives, they can’t say no to, and that doesn’t imply consent. They could try really hard, but they do almost everything their friends ask of them…and their friends KNOW IT. Their knowledge of this is the power they have against their victims.
Now, from the story we read, this lady didn’t scream, not because she didn’t want to, but as far as she was concerned, her trust was violated.
Many times, it’s about the violation of trust they had in someone who they thought would respect them enough to not push, knowing that if they pushed, they wouldn’t want to embarrass them by pushing them off or shouting.
There have been instances where friends have touched friends inappropriately because one was drunk [this is just one of the many circumstances where things like these happen]. The friend knows what’s happening but will want to say no, but because of their closeness their friends, they may just keep quiet to avoid embarrassing their friend. After the sexual act [or near sexual act], they will totally avoid the subject and it may never happen again. It’s not like the friend couldn’t have fought off, but rather, disturbed that the trust has been betrayed. Sometimes the betrayal of trust is like shackles on its own.
Sometimes, the victims lay there in silence out of shock. So shocked that they can’t even scream or struggle, or ever mention it to anyone. They just lay and wait for the act to end. Not to ever downplay rape and its effects, most times, what has been raped is not just the person. It is usually the trust that has been raped, pillaged and rampaged without mercy.
@joewacklegh | joewackle.com
I have an aunt who is so traditional, she sees everything wrong with food delivery services. So when I visited her with a pizza one evening, I sat on the cabinet in the kitchen and watched her microwave it, took some bites before I told her where I brought the pizza from. I got it from one pizzeria (name withheld) running a promo on Jumia food that day. Buying two pizza for the price of one. There wasn’t much she could do after the revelation. She believes food delivery services are not safe. She would argue “Do you know what the delivery guy could put in your food?” In my defense, anything could go wrong straight from the kitchen, and Jumia food saves a lot of time and money, if you are someone who browses through the app to get the best food offers like me.
I always imagined how much I’d save if I got free lunch every working day, or something close to free. I love food. Even better I love cheap (yet quality) food. Or maybe this entire blog was born from my laziness, which is quite debatable to a point. I’d rather sit behind my desk and have food delivered to me than leaving work on hot afternoons to go scout for lunch. Especially when my options are very limited if I walked out. That’s how and why I downloaded the Jumia Food App. And I have since accumulated enough points to leisurely order from any restaurant on the app without double checking the price list.
I enjoy scrolling through the app to find which restaurants are giving out weekly offers. This happens often, making me buy my favorite foods at half price or getting two for the price of one and selling one out (times are hard).
Jumia Food uses your location to show you all restaurants around you. Giving you a variety to choose from. Your order usually arrives within 45mins and 60mins (which I honestly think could be shorter.) This quite defeats the entire purpose of not wanting to step out to get food. My lunch break isn’t that long (I know I could order an hour before lunch break) but really, all I need is for food to arrive earlier and not a time management seminar.
Unlike some other service delivery guys who will call you every three minutes for directions, Jumia Food’s delivery guys always find their way to your exact location, and with the exact change. It really gets annoying than awkward when some delivery guys swear they have no change, forcing you to part ways with what could have easily been your money for water for the rest of the day. I’m yet to meet a Jumia Food delivery guy pull that prank on me (Yes! We all know that’s a prank to get them to keep your change. Insist on it. It’s your right.)
To try out if Jumia promises on some conditions, my colleague reported his delayed order on the app clock, where he got his money paid back in the form of a meal voucher. (The food eventually arrived, and don’t ask what we did with it or the voucher).
Jumia Food has over 200+ of your favorite restaurants signed up to their app and deliver to wherever you are in Accra, extending to Tema. It has plans in extending to Kumasi, Takoradi and Sunyani in some months. Just pull out your phone and get on the app. Use promo code JOEWK for discount on your first few orders.
Let me know what you think of their service, and hit me up for a few tricks Jumia Food might never find out.
@joewacklegh | joewackle.com|
“About 1,500 housing units, built under the Saglemi housing project near Tsopoli in the Ningo-Prampram District in the Greater Accra Region, have remained unoccupied almost two years after the facility had been inaugurated.”― Seth J. Bokpe on March 16, 2018 [www.graphic.com.gh].
Ghana is not a poor country. It only has poor managers. Our country should never survive on grants and aids because we have every resource to be a donor. Ghana is not a third world country. Our managers are just not ready to do what the first world people do!
Ghana beyond aid? Really? Can our beloved nation ever do without foreign support? Maybe it is just one of those mantras because there’s no country that will ever wean itself off aid when it is not ready to cut down on its waste.
In Ghana, many state buildings are abandoned; utterly unoccupied. A lot more state cars are either lost to politicians or left unused; left to rot. Year after year, avoidable judgment debts are paid. Many facilities are built with outrageous budgets while a lot more are left middle way. We spend our wealth each day on wrong priorities like a national cathedral. Waste! Waste! Waste!
Ghana has never been a poor country, as we have been made to believe. We appear poor courtesy waste. We are experts of waste; experts of negligence. We don’t give a hoot about good maintenance practices. After all, our superheroes will always come to our rescue with their grants and aids. Can this Ghana ever be one beyond aid!?
At 61, the unemployment rate is worse. At 61, our TV content has been hijacked by foreign telenovelas when our local industry rots due to lack of funds. At 61, we’re almost importing the same commodities as we used to at 20. At 61, we are still battling the same headaches our ancestors had. Still at 61, our state coffers are badly leaking. Thanks to the greed of others.
Our priorities are almost always wrong― always misplaced. At 61, we are still notoriously religious. We will rather build a national cathedral when others can’t even afford a three square meal, not to mention snacks. We will rather sponsor pilgrimages when our children elsewhere study in some death traps of a classroom. We want to make it to Heaven but others are already in hell here!
At 61, we still perish through needless floods. Housing projects completed at the tune of millions of cedis are left to rot when a lot of Ghanaians have no decent accommodation to call their own. We waste anything that looks like capital. We waste waste when others recycle such into energy. Did you just say “Ghana beyond aid”? Maybe not yet. Maybe we ought to wait for a century more!
When our priorities are misguided, our needs become our wants… and our wants, needs. When a country has no regard for priorities, it will continue to be addicted to aid because its existence depends on it. Aid will never be a thing of the past when we have not consciously made any effort to cut down waste.
What we spend a chunk of our wealth on tells a lot about us. It tells whether “Ghana beyond aid” will be just another mantra or a reality. What we spend on points a great deal to our priorities. Until we get our priorities right, our nation beyond aid will only be a bluff. Until we redirect our priorities to humanity, Ghana will be centuries away from anything that looks like external assistance with strings attached.
A nation that will invest millions into a football coach when its people share drinking water with animals has questionable priorities. It is obvious that a state that will rather spend on pleasures and not the wellbeing of its people has no focus on humanity. Fact is, we are what we spend on.
If we make humanity our priority, we will focus on the betterment of their lives… and more particularly, providing them with their basic needs. What is great entertainment to a man dying of great hunger? What is the essence of great infrastructure when those for whom such were made can’t even access potable water in this 21st century?
When we make people our priority, their needs become our need. We avoid every waste as much as possible to provide them everything they need to make their existence not only possible but also fruitful. An empowered people make a nation that lives beyond aid.
When we prioritize the life of every Ghanaian no matter where they are in this country above every other desire, schools in grave-like classrooms become a thing of the past. Bad roads will belong to history. Every citizen will matter, no matter their political identity.
Cutting down on waste cuts down aids and grants because we will have enough in our coffers. If we spend on only our needs, we will save enough and have nothing to do with grants. Otherwise speaking, cutting down on unnecessary expenditure and losses is what a Ghana beyond aid will look like.
Ghana beyond aid is not a mere tagline. It is hard work. It is an uncomfortable rearrangement of our priorities. At 61, we can’t still be drowning in dependence instead of independence.
A Ghana beyond the reach of foreign aid begins with getting our priorities right. The Ghanaian is the priority. If it is not his need, it is not a need of the nation. The more we focus on our needs, the more independent our nation becomes. A Ghana beyond aid is a Ghana beyond bad priorities and avoidable losses!
The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), an Accra-based writing company which provides all writing services.
Politics, Religion and Sexuality have been the three subjects I always try to stay away from. People have diverse opinions built from strong socialization on these subjects and I have come to respect what everyone’s stance is. It is not easy for people to change their views on these subjects.
It is quite interesting all three subjects have found their way into mainstream Ghanaian media, and on social media, and everyone is out with what they think; support, hate and half-backed knowledge [solely backed by culture, ignorance and religion] depending on the people you follow.
Most people who use religion as their basis for any human right argument lack the knowledge to reason and the ability to arrive at any logical conclusion for themselves and humanity, and therefore fall back on a set of documented historical occurrences to pretend to solve issues. “The bible said” “My religion” [just shut up!]
Last Sunday, in church, during a sermon, I leaned close to my friend and whispered to him how the Bible and entire Christianity is built on stoic patriarchy. It was left to be discussed later, because I had to let the sermon marinate. I promised to remind myself to make time to read the Bible more to confirm or deny what I thought of it.
Over the weeks, before the President of Ghana’s impeccable response on homosexuality in Ghana which was lined with his knowledge on Human rights and his empathy on how it felt to be a part of the minority in every society, the news was full of gender based violence and rape.
Flipping through the local newspapers, tuning the radio and changing local television channels, all we see are cases of abuse and rape, to the extent of the gods declaring a rapist innocent [the gods must be cray]. And for a country that is hyper religious and has churches on almost every street, we waited for the Christian Council to come through and make a statement with their influence. We waited in futile for them to remind rapists and abusers of a place designed for eternal damnation. We waited for them to come through the mainstream media to tell us all the things God hates and the Bible detests, but here we are. Through it all, they were busily holding services and praying to help their congregation obtain visas to countries where the very thing they swear God detests is legal – homosexuality. It is evident the only time the Christian Council is really passionate about anything is when it is about harvest for the church and homosexuality and maybe, imprudent politics. Anything but these are left to God. All they represent are entitled statements made from a group of people who think their beliefs should be everyone else’s lifestyle. While they try to shove their opinion on a multi-religious country, it will be right they sit their executives down and make them understand that, their beliefs do not reflect the beliefs of the country.
There were a lot of headlines in the main media on the subject and, most of them that caught my attention where from a certain lawyer who made his intention clear [which is laudable]. I’ll share two of his quotes from the news.
“DON’T ELEVATE A DISORDER TO A RIGHT”
The above statement was in the news from this Lawyer. Whose skin will be a threat to his life if not for change. This is a typical example of how far people will go to cut their nose to spite their face. He is so burning with hatred, he couldn’t catch a breath to choose his words. Gays as well as albinos are a part of the minority in our society and the word disorder perfectly describes the latter [borrowing his word]. Being a part of a group of people who still aren’t entirely safe and are discriminated in certain communities right here in Ghana, your influence should be used for inclusion, not a breeding ground for hatred. This issue is one of a human right but some chose to play it the cultural way, which I am sure this learned man went for. Maybe he’s right. Maybe we should revisit the very core of Ghanaian culture and what it thinks about albinism if we so want to make this subject a cultural thing. Whatever it is, what is important for you is absolute ownership of your culture.
“IF YOU SAY HAVING ANAL SEX IS A HUMAN RIGHT, THEN I CAN SLEEP WITH MY MOTHER AND THAT’S ALSO HUMAN RIGHT”
That is another statement from this Lawyer, and as it stands, we really do not know who is stopping this man from sleeping with his mother. This seems to be more of his personal family problem than a human right interest. Every statement from him just strips a layer of hatred if not misinformed prejudice and the deeper we go, we realize such a person will set his house on fire to keep himself warm. He reduced being gay to just a sexual act and tried equating it to indecency. It is troubling there are still people like him who do not think homosexuals just as heterosexuals have the psychological, emotional and romantic desire. I find it hilarious when people equate the right of gay men to pedophilia or rape.
You’d probably disagree that this is a human right issue and that’s fine. Being blinded by hatred with no explanations won’t let you see through the darkness. The issue with Human Right Advocacy is that, you’re either for it or you are downright not. You cannot advocate rights for a certain group of people and support the infringement against another.
Let’s not pretend this isn’t an issue. I don’t want to make my advocacy about my personal preferences because either way, the truth can’t be changed. Everyone has a voice, and even cheaper, a platform now and this what I choose to do with mine. Your silence does not mean you stand in between. You have actively chosen to remain on the side of the oppressors and you will be on the wrong side of history. Your silence won’t save you, oppressors has a huge appetite and they will come for you once they win this, and move on to the next minority. Let’s not hold on, hold our tongues as we wait for the liberation of a group of people!
Ghana has been at the confluence of cultures, and homosexuality isn’t one of those.
Is anyone listening? ‘Well, Ghana we dey!