Honest Musings: Passion won’t pay the bills !

Honest Musings: Passion won’t pay the bills !

WARNING: This piece isn’t supposed to come out embellished with flowery language and obedience to the grammar rule of writing. I will battle with both first and third person pronoun throughout. I am guilty.

You might be quick to differ with the title but I speak for the passionate creatives who are being exploited and the only thing that keeps them going is their passion. I write for the young writers, poets, rappers, painters, fashion designers and bloggers who are often hit with the “I WILL GIVE YOU EXPOSURE” crap.

“I don’t write for money. I write because it’s my passion. It’s what makes me red ”

How stupid could I have been less than two years ago? It was until I couldn’t pay my fees with passion in my final year at the University that I realized I have been doing this passion thing all wrong.

But that was my principle; writing because it was my passion and made me happy. Happy wasn’t enough when you could be happier or even happiest.

“Grow up and you’ll get your freedom”, they said. It’s a trick. You only grow up so they get freedom from you. Freedom from not having to care much about you. Freedom from knowing you’re old to take good care of yourself. And not so much freedom from choosing between money and passion.

In the past months that I’ve been away from this blog, I’ve been writing. Writing for money. And this has led to a personal battle with myself. Limitations have been placed on my creativity. And the love of money clouds my writing.

Writing because it’s your passion is when you have to be in the mood to write. When you have to be inspired by situations and happenings around you. When you drive past a tree and you bask in the beauty of how freely the birds fly from branch to branch. When you see that beautiful girl across the street and suddenly you have four paragraphs in mind. When you meet with friends over the weekend and they leave with stories you could write for years. That was when you write because you are in the mood and feel like writing.

And there is the part where you have to write because you have to write. When you have no options of choosing between when to or how to but the only thing for sure is you have to write because you have been paid to write. It builds a sense of betrayal and clouds your judgement on what’s creative and what’s not because you have to meet the deadline. And the faster you finish, the more jobs you get. That is when you start writing for money. You are not a hundred percent in control of the outcome.

And your creativity is mocked. You submit the work to a client and he becomes an armchair editor and tells you what to take out or add just to meet his demand. Creative or not, you don’t have the final decision.

When you get to this stage, you miss the days you had to break all the rules in writing just to explore how fun being free with words work. I still do my best to pitch my work to clients, to make them understand I still have some sort of ownership and authority to the work even though I have been paid. Once a work is going out with my name on, it should be great.

Writing for money hasn’t made me less of a creative. I just miss the days I had to write because I was in the mood or had to be inspired but now I write because I have to write and my biggest inspiration is money.

I read what I write and I’m not happy but when a client can’t hide their happiness over a work, I remember I was paid for the work and the money makes me happy too. It’s simple, my happiness doesn’t necessarily depend on the work now. It depends on my client’s happiness and money.

It will take time to make money from whatever you are doing but you will only be bought at the price you sell yourself. Don’t let passion drive you to accepting the “EXPOSURE” tune. Whatever your creative work is, it won’t go stale with time. And while you make money from your passion, don’t compromise on your creativity.

I’ll post here soon. I don’t know when but sooner than the Bible’s soon in respect to Jesus’ second coming. Until then, I will be busy…busily writing for money.

@JoewackleGh

You need an Autobiography- This is why!

You need an Autobiography- This is why!

I was told of a funeral which happened recently somewhere in Accra. Hell broke loose when it was time to read the biography of the deceased. According to his biography supposedly orchestrated by his wife, he had only one child. His family, on the other hand, insisted he had adopted two more children; making three of them in all.

When you don’t tell the world who you are and what you ever had, others will do so.

When you die, others will tell your story (and may obviously not tell it well) so when alive, you need to tell your own story. When you’re no more, others will speak for you, hence, as long as you’ve breath, you ought to speak for yourself!

In our part of the world, it’s seemingly rare to have our autobiographies on the shelves of libraries or bookshops. We have been brought up to be selfish, thus, hardly think about making our experiences available for posterity. Little wonder a chunk of our history is either lost or contaminated because it was oral.

We live our lives without having posterity in mind. We live and die without exposing our children to our failures and achievements. They, thus, start their lives fighting the same battles we fought instead of fighting their own battles. They start life all over again instead of continuing from where the earlier generation left off. That’s how important autobiographies are!

A well-documented autobiography (or biography) is like a will. It becomes a sacred legacy for every generation. It becomes an invaluable asset to many. Tell you what, the autobiographies of great business men in history (like Virgin’s Richard Branson) have become a must-read for many who aspire to be like them because such books hand over to their readers within minutes decades of experience.

If writing is one of the easiest ways to transfer knowledge, then reading is one of the easiest ways to receive it, too. Your autobiography is like a will that guides every other person and hands over assets of wisdom to them so they can be someone greater than you ever were.

Like a mirror, an autobiography makes you come in contact with the image of the writer. It gives you the rare opportunity to take a stroll down their private life.

When you don’t script your life down into a piece of collection, that life’s legacy just goes waste in the grave. If people with similar aspirations can never benefit from your failures and successes, your experiences would have been of no essence, in the first place. If others would need to fail the same way you did, your failure was of no benefit to society.

Our failures, especially, should be of benefit to society. Get that autobiography of yours written!

Aside an autobiography raking in fortunes for the writer, it is the only avenue they can take readers on an excursion in their mind. The reader is able to travel along with the writer inasmuch as they learn a skill or two from his/her experience.

I have come across many clients who pitch one excuse or the other as to why they haven’t written their autobiography yet and I am not the least surprised this part of our world always seems to be behind others. An excuse why you can’t hand over your experience to posterity is a pretty bad excuse!

Our nation keeps running in circles because there’s no smooth transfer of experience from the old generation to the new. We are always starting life all over again when others are continuing from where their previous generation left off in others parts of the world. Of a truth, we can’t ever catch up with them.

Decades of experience are buried every weekend. Countless packages of lessons are kept six feet away from humanity every Saturday. The success of this nation, trust me, is only an autobiography away.

At all cost, get to tell your life’s story to the world before others do. Africa, for instance, is almost always painted a dark continent by the Western world because they tell us our own stories. When you leave your story to be told by others, they’d mistaken your blackness for darkness. Get your autobiography!

Tell the world of your failures and how you surmounted them. Tell of your successes, too. An autobiography is an asset. Own one. To your mansions and automobiles, add your autobiography!

Experience can never be bought. However, we can give posterity an opportunity to learn from our weaknesses and strengths by handing over to them a record of our lives. We can create a legacy that would outlive us— and it begins with our autobiography. We can be mentors to generations to come even long after we are gone. That’s the magic of an autobiography.

Your experience in this life will be a priceless property for others who are yet to come. Don’t let it go waste. You need an autobiography… and this is why!

The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of an Accra-based writing company, Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), which provides all writing services.

10 Lessons I Wish I Knew Before I Graduated From University.

10 Lessons I Wish I Knew Before I Graduated From University.

It’s that memorable time of the year again― graduation of university students. The joy on the faces of graduates is so conspicuous. In fact, we were all told there was more rest after school only to realize there was even more work. No matter how much academic life stressed you, the issues of life will even stress you more!

Well, let me share with you these few lessons I wish I had known back in the day. It may still be useful to someone out here.

ON CAMPUS RELATIONSHIPS

Dating on campus was really a thing people would do anything for. Some didn’t even care if their grades somersaulted just to be a pair.

However, I wish I knew that the batteries of most Chinese phones lasted longer than most of these campus romances. The reality of national service hardship sets in and you’re forgotten. Call it selective amnesia! Haha.

PREMATURE WIFEHOOD

I used to observe some young women busily “wifing” when their supposed spouses were busily studying or doing something profitable to add value to their lives. We walk down the aisle. We don’t run down it!

If I were a lady, I wish I would have paid more attention to my books than playing the role of a “premature wife” to another student who has no idea of what dowry even is! Time spent in washing his clothes could have been used in learning a skill or two. Someone needs to be reminded a girlfriend was not a wife!

VOLUNTEERISM OVER SERIES

I wish I had spent my vacation doing more voluntary work than just staying home idle watching soaps and series. I wish I had spent more time gaining experience rendering a service, even if I wouldn’t be paid, than doling out all my time following trends and arguments on social media.

I had not the slightest idea that volunteerism was another name given to skill development! If you want to earn another skill and upgrade those you already have for free, be ready to give yours too freely.

BRIGHT SKILL NOT BRIGHT SKIN

A skilled skin is an investment. A bright skin yet so unskilled is what a package of liability looks like. As a woman, I would have invested more into my skills than my skin. If your skin is all you have to offer, all you may get may be just “one-night” offers. A bright skin doesn’t necessarily mean a bright future.

NO HEADLINE READING

I wish I had read more books and not just their titles or covers. I wish I had read more newspapers and not just their headlines. The best travel experience is to read.

MIND POWER

As a young man, I wish I had developed my mind power… not just manpower. I wish I had invested more into my mind than into my muscles. I wish someone had hinted me than mind power always ruled over manpower!

ON CVs

If I could drive into my past, I would have made a conscious effort to write and update my CV/resume even better. CV writing is not rocket science but to many graduates that’s just what it is! A graduate who can’t write a CV? Did you graduate from a university in Pluto!?

PASSION FIRST

I wish I found my passion and pursued it with all my heart. Passion is about following your heart… not stomach. I wish I had not given excuses as to why I could not chase some dreams. Life is never going to get any less busier; the earlier… the better.

NETWORKING

I wish I knew that my roommates then were going to be the “big shots” of today. I should not have quarreled with them over gari. We shouldn’t have been at loggerheads because of kenkey, for instance. I could have treated them better! Indeed, if we knew the future of others better, we would have treated their present with more respect.

LIFE’S EXAMS

And… I wish I knew that not everything that was taught in the lecture hall was meant to be applied in real life. I should have paid as much attention to passing school exams to passing life’s exams.

Congratulations graduates!!!

The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), a writing company based in Accra. His upcoming play is TRIBELESS. Get interactive with him on his Facebook page, Kobina Ansah.

HM Young Achievers Summit 2017

HM Young Achievers Summit 2017

Social enterprises continue to grow in Ghana every year. Their impact is mostly  felt based on  the influence they have on the sustainable growth they achieve yearly in their respective industries. Entrepreneurship in Ghana has fueled employment opportunities and there is no doubt about that.

It has encouraged the youth to become creative and innovative not only as a means of tackling youth employment but also as a solution to meeting the pressing needs of society, providing sustainable solutions to business problems whiles also strengthening the oak of GDP growth, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and highlighting the gross benefits of the use of technology in business.
Every day, new business challenges evolve due to the changing structures in the world of work and its accompanying effects on global businesses.

However, in encouraging the growth of entrepreneurship in Ghana through social enterprise development and business strategy skills, the Twenty Plus Ghana Group of companies (a social enterprise collection of brands focused on the growth of social entrepreneurship in Ghana) is organizing its’s second edition of the Young Achievers Summit on Saturday 17thJune, 2017 at the British Council, Accra Ghana. Time for the event is 2PM to 8PM and the rate is FREE (#HMYoungAchieversSummit2017).
The Young Achievers Summit presents an opportunity for young entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, industry leaders, focus groups, students, policy makers, business developers and media to come together under one roof presenting ideas to promote advanced sustainable growth of Ghanaian enterprises while also recognizing the work of outstanding young entrepreneurs through the awards session.

There will also be a workshop session dubbed “Barclays Ready to Work Clinic” which is facilitated by the British Council with support from the Barclays Bank.

The workshop’s intent is to equip participants with the needed soft skills necessary in excelling in their chosen industries.
Keynote speaker for this year’s event is: Paul Payne (Skills Hub and Innovative Centre Manager at the British Council)
Headline Speakers include: Derrick S. Vormawor (Serial entrepreneur and Business Coach); Ekow Mensah (CEO, TANOE & EMI); George Mensah Britton (CEO, GB Interactive Ltd, artiste manager for Keche); Kwame A.A Opoku (Lead Curator, Idea Factory Africa); Emmanuel Leslie Addae (Curator, TEDx Accra); Mauvie Hayford (Radio &TV Host); Caroline Sampson (Radio & TV Host); Trudy Arnold (CEO, Studio 7 Beauty Lounge & Co-Founder for WE Festival Africa); Ama Pratt (CEO, MAP Concepts Gh & Commercial Head Panafrican Television)
Panelists: Boamah Prince Kuleape (CEO, Kuleape Group of Companies, Celebrity Stylist and Designer); Bright Opanin Boakye – Danquah (Producer, INNOVADDB Ghana); Adomako Mensah Felix (Celebrity Blogger), Micheak Owusu – Smith (DJ/Artist and fashion icon) and Akua Konadu Kusi (CEO, Study Abroad West Africa).

This year’s HM Young Achievers Summit is Sponsored by Hero Movement, AM & PM Restaurant , Busy Jump, Hubtel, BF Cab services, The Travel Hub, Top Bright Consultancy, Pan African TV, NMJ Ghana and refreshed by Malta Guinness.

Life Has No Price Tag!

Life Has No Price Tag!

I once read the story of a man who had the habit of misplacing his watches. Times without number, he could not tell his time― he had misplaced his watch. To ‘heal’ this habit, a friend advised him, “Buy a very expensive watch!”
He wondered how that could help. All the same, he paid heed to his friend’s counsel and bought the most expensive watch he could lay his hands on. A year later, his friend asked him how many more watches he had bought after buying the expensive one. He replied, “None!”
“Why?”
“I protect it with all of my life because it is too expensive to be misplaced!”
Some things are too expensive to be misplaced or lost. Some commodities are too expensive to be traded. If we know the value of what we have, we treat them with utmost honor.
If you want to know how invaluable a thing means to someone, just observe how they regard it. No one buys a million dollar Bugatti and treats it like trash. The value we put on the people and things around us tells how far we will go to keep them.
When we have no value for something, we abuse it. If you want to understand value, look at how well users treat an iphone they bought with their hard-earned money. They would go every length to keep it safe. They would rather prefer a broken leg to a broken screen! Haha.
The irony of life is that we treat with little or no regard the most priceless things because we have no idea of their worth. We think air (oxygen) is cheap until we need to buy it from the hospital. Our lives seem to have no value until we beg to have more of it on our death beds.
Life is irreplaceable. Life, when literally broken, is irreparable. Life is so expensive that it can’t be bought. Regardless of all of one’s wealth, they can’t buy an extra life. Only if we understood that life was too expensive to have a price tag, we wouldn’t have treated it as cheaply as rag!
One thing that always beats my imagination is the lynching of people for whatever wrong they presumably committed. I am oftentimes awestruck for the reasons people get mobbed. My recent shock was when a gentleman was lynched over a measly GHC 1.50. Can you imagine!?
When we understand the value of life, we understand how to treat it, regardless of what wrong that life may have supposedly done. We have no idea that one of the commodities that can’t ever be bought is life. If we did, we won’t take it away at the least suspicion.
Our hypocrisy has blinded our minds to understand life’s value. Our false sense of morality has risen to the high heavens that we think others need to die in public for the same (or even greater) sins we commit in our closets!
We may blame lynching on mistrust in the judiciary system but, trust me, no judiciary system can ever be perfect as long as it is manned by men. No matter how effective our judiciary system may be, even criminals caught in the act would always have the chance to prove themselves innocent.
We can’t pronounce instant justice on others when we have all agreed that the judiciary should dispense justice. When others have not had a fair trial, we have no right to pronounce them guilty. Who are you to stone another to death according to your own instant, skewed yardstick of judgment?
Ironically, those who do the stoning have a whole world of sins to hide. Those who are at the forefront of lynching others have volumes of sins which, to them, are lesser than those of their victims. Who weighs [our] sins? We can’t weigh our own sins on our partial, unbalanced scales and present them as lighter than those of others!
Before you think of hurling a stone at an alleged thief, first think about the ills you last did with those same hands of yours. They may just be worse than the thief’s. Reminds me of the adulteress who was brought before Jesus by her accusers.
When we use the same scale to weigh others’ sins and ours, we get to know that we are not in any better position to stone them. When we ponder over the wrongs we do under the shade of darkness and compare them to what others have been caught in the act doing, we would come to the sad realization that we deserve to be lynched, too, if not instead.
Don’t lynch. Have value for life. Don’t take something you can’t give. Don’t brutalize others because you somewhat lost trust in the Police. Tomorrow, you may just be a victim, too, because another may have lost it for the judiciary. We all look like thieves until proven innocent. Let the law have its way. Don’t be the law!
Each of us must be innocent until proven guilty. A fair trial is what separates the innocent from the guilty. A fair trial takes place only in court… not on the streets in the presence of an irate mob whose only intention is to undervalue one of the most expensive commodities on Earth― life.
Justice is like success. There’s no instant version of it. When you mete out justice at the wrong time, you mete it out to the wrong people. When we value life, we value justice. If we can’t buy life, we can’t sell instant justice either. Instant justice only means gross disrespect for life.
The value of life is infinite. If anyone has it today, value it, even if they did wrong. Don’t waste it like some ‘second-hand’ watch because life has no price tag. You can’t get to buy it anywhere!
The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), a writing company based in Accra. His upcoming play is TRIBELESS.

Young Ghanaians launch wedding planning mobile app.

Young Ghanaians launch wedding planning mobile app.

Wedding planning just got easier! The stress couples have to endure to have a successful wedding just got eased up. The Ayefro app is here.

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“Ayefro” in Twi means wedding.

Ayefro Digital Solutions Ltd, developers of the Ayefro Inc mobile app launched their app during a fun, interactive and educative session at the Holiday Inn hotel, in Accra, Ghana.

The Ayefro Inc. Mobile app connects event vendors and their clients on one platform. It provides Fun, Fast and Reliable event planning on the go!

The objective of the launch was to create brand awareness for our mobile app, drive downloads, and to connect event service providers and clients together.

The event was attended by event vendors ranging from photographers, Decor companies, Music and live band companies, Catering companies, Wedding Planners, and Advertising companies.

They demonstrated how the app solves 4 (four) major challenges experienced in real life when it comes to the events industry.

1. Finding the right service providers for your events
2. Finding clients and increasing jobs for vendors
3. High price charged for services during weddings and other events
4. Clients not paying for services after events are over.

A team member said, “We promised to reach 1 million users in the next 3 years. Our app is currently on android only, but an iOS version is in development. The app is currently in use in 5 countries. Ghana, Nigeria, Benin and Ivory Coast.”

What a time to get married!
Source: Scribe News